Portelli Wary of Competition in 2014 Missile Stakes

August 7th, 2014

A standout performer over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, trainer Gary Portelli is confident of a polished first-up performance for Rebel Dane in the featured Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick this weekend, ahead of what he revealed might be a short and sweet preparation.

Trainer Gary Portelli is wary of Rebel Dane's competition in the 2014 Missile Stakes

Trainer Gary Portelli is wary of Rebel Dane's competition in the 2014 Missile Stakes. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Winning the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) first-up in August last year, Rebel Dane continued to build in form via a credible fourth in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) before breaking through for an impressive victory at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) most notably on September 29th.

Appearing in four Group 1 races over autumn and winter this year, Portelli told TVN he has been eyeing the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30th as the major target for the California Dane entire this time in, and is so-far unsure where he will progress to should he be successful.

“We’re really going to take it one race at a time with him,” Portelli said.

“If he runs well tomorrow we’ll go to Melbourne for the Memsie because it’s a Group 1, but after that we’ll re-assess.

“I want him to have a very light spring.

“I’m very mindful he didn’t have a long time off and I really want to have him fit and fresh into the T. J. Smith next autumn.”

Poised to line up against a particularly classy field in the Missile Stakes, Portelli said he is not getting ahead of himself with Rebel Dane’s chances of success on Saturday despite the five-year-old featuring as outright favourite in betting markets.

“I have great respect for all of the runners,” Portelli said.

Boban has a wicked turn of foot and he started favourite in a race like this first-up last prep.

Sweet Idea looks the only leader and she might control things in front and kick away.

Messene looks a really good horse and John Hawkes doesn’t put a rap on many and he likes this one.”

Finishing a competitive second to the world’s leading sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) first-up this year on April 12th, Rebel Dane appeared out of sorts when fifth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) and was unable to find the placings again over two starts during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

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