A Group 1 champion through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, trainer Gary Portelli has confirmed exciting sprinter Rebel Dane will return to racing in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 9th, and renowned jockey Blake Shinn will take the ride.
Returning to racing to win the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) first-up in August last year, Rebel Dane continued to build in form and class on his way to winning the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in September.
Finishing third in a Warwick Farm barrier trial late last week, Portelli told Sky Racing HQ the target initially will be to chalk up a major victory before the appearance of the world’s leading sprinter Lankan Rupee; the only runner to deny Rebel Dane victory in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) first-up this year on April 12th.
“Realistically nobody wants to take on Lankan Rupee at the moment, if you can help it, and for us to try and win another Group 1 we would like to be in a race that he hasn’t turned up in,” Portelli said.
“Our objective was to get him going a bit earlier, space his runs and keep his preparation short, sharp and sweet.
“We thought that we would go to the Missile Stakes first-up and that gives him three weeks, which has been great for him, and he can go to seven furlongs second-up and he will be perfect and spot-on.”
Following the Missile Stakes, Portelli said a trip to Victoria will likely be on the cards for the California Dane entire and will aim for the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30th.
“I am hoping that at that point you have a few of the stayers resuming in the Memsie and some horses that are looking for some other races down the track,” Portelli said.
“He could be the fit horse that is dominant at 1400 in the race and that is the reason for being in a Group 1 so early in the season.
“We will just try and get away with another Group 1 before we have to line up against Lankan Rupee.”
Securing an impressive total of six wins and two minor places from just 16 competitive starts so far, Rebel Dane performed well over four starts through the 2014 autumn/winter seasons; finishing fourth to Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) most notably.
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