Tommy Berry has been confirmed to ride Rebel Dane, when the veteran sprinter returns to racing in the 2016 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) during the forthcoming Spring Carnival.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2013 edition of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), Rebel Dane posted seven wins and as many minors through thirty-one career starts for Gary Portelli so far and has an excellent first-up record; winning the Group 1 The Shorts (1100m) at the beginning of his 2015 spring campaign and placing third in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) upon resuming this year.
Trainer Gary Portelli is thrilled with the rising condition of the California Dane entire and is pleased to have secured Berry’s services for the 2016 Missile Stakes.
“Physically he is looking stronger than ever, I’ve never been happier with him,” Portelli told Racing Victoria.
“We gave him a longer break out of the autumn last year and didn’t resume until the middle of September.
“This time around I wanted to get him in early and have him up firing before some of the big guns get back.
“It was good that Tommy has had the experience on the horse because he has lost a bit of that zip and acceleration he had when he was younger.
“He is taking longer to unwind, taking a bit more riding to get to his top so I think it will be beneficial that Tommy rode him in the trial so he knows what he is dealing with on race day.”
Portelli is yet to settle on a specific target for his stable star in spring, but revealed he will progress to the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.
“After the Missile Stakes he will go to the Warwick Stakes and then we will assess the situation and look at our options from there,” Portelli said.
“The Manikato is a race that he has performed well at in the past and it is something I’d like to take on again if we get to Melbourne.”
Rebel Dane is undoubtedly at his best over 1400m; having placed fifth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the each of the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) most notably in autumn.
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