Trainer Gary Portelli believes that stable star Rebel Dane is forward enough to win the 2016 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up at Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2013 edition of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), Rebel Dane returned to racing in autumn for a number of typically commendable performances and results, and has not been seen at the races since running on for fourth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 16th.
Having been included amongst a small but talented list of Missile Stakes nominations on Monday, Portelli told AAP he is confident the California Dane entire will relish the conditions of the Randwick feature race first-up and will lay a great account for himself ahead of his Spring Carnival campaign.
“He takes on Capitalist in his first start and then gets to take on Winx in the Warwick Stakes,” Portelli said.
“There really aren’t any other races for him early in the season so that’s the way it is.
“He’s at 505 kilos which is the heaviest I’ve ever had him at the start of a preparation and is in great physical condition.
“I don’t think he could be any better.”
Rebel Dane has posted an impressive seven wins and as many minors through thirty-one career starts, since debuting during the 2012 edition of the Spring Carnival.
Resuming last spring for success in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m), Rebel Dane ran second in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) before ending his season third in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Trialling well in the lead-up to his 2016 return, Rebel Dane ran third in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) first-up before placing fifth in the Group 1 CS Hayes Stakes (1300m) and fourth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) most notably.
The 2016 Missile Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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