Portamento will aim to book his place on the valuable Good Friday card at Lingfield when taking a drop down in class at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
Newmarket trainer Charlie Appleby is to send the two-year-old son of Shamardal up to Dunstall Park to contest the 20 Risk-free At Unibet Conditions Stakes, which is a fast-track qualifier for the Surrey track’s feature raceday.
Although the three-time race winner has not been seen out since finishing second behind Code Red in the Listed Scott Dobson Memorial Stakes at Doncaster, the Moulton Paddocks handler is happy with the shape he has his runner in ahead of the five-furlong event.
“Portamento is in good nick” said Appleby. “On official ratings he is clear of his rivals and as he has won around Lingfield we know he handles the synthetic surface so we are not worried about that.
“We have earmarked the Good Friday card for him and hopefully he will be competitive around Wolverhampton on Saturday.”
Portamento could be joined on the card by stablemate Personal Opinion who holds an entry in the 32Red Handicap over a 1m5f.
The three-year old who finished 10th in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot in June made it three wins from as many races at the Midlands track after scoring in a Class Three 1m4f handicap on Saturday.
“Personal Opinion travelled really well throughout Saturday’s race and picked up well when Adam (Kirby) asked for his effort,” said Appleby. “He probably stays a bit further than that trip which opens up plenty of avenues.
“He seems to appreciate the synthetic surface and he will be campaigned through the winter.
“The race on Saturday could be an option for him.”
While the 2014 Flat season is long finished the Godolphin handler has continued to send out a steady stream of winners with him currently sitting top of the All Weather Championships’ Trainers’ League table.
Despite his lofty position, Appleby, who secured his first domestic Group One winner at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile following Charming Thought’s vision.ae Middle Park Stakes victory back in October, has ruled out an all assault on the title.
“Going for the All-Weather trainers’ title is not high on the list of priorities. It is all about what is best for the horse,” said Appleby. “The idea of having a few horses running over the winter is to keep the momentum going and the wheels moving and to give some of the more backward two-year-olds outings one outings and experience.”