Australian sprinters Takedown and Rebel Dane have drawn midfield barriers in the Group 1 HK$18.5m Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Takedown has drawn barrier six in the fourteen horse field with Tim Clark to ride while Rebel Dane with Ben Melham on top will jump from gate eight.
The Tony Cruz trained local chance Peniaphobia has drawn the rails while the French sprinter Signs Of Blessing will jump from the outside gate.
Top local sprinter Lucky Bubbles has drawn ideally for Brett Prebble at barrier five while the two Japanese horses have drawn awkwardly with Red Falx getting the ten marble while Big Arthur will need plenty of luck from barrier thirteen.
Warwick Farm trainer Gary Portelli expects Rebel Dane to be back to near his preferred racing weight after gradually regaining some of the kilos he lost on the flight to Hong Kong from Sydney last weekend and is hoping for a good run from barrier eight.
“Put 4 of the 9kg he lost in flight back on in 2 days so should be perfect by Sunday,” Portelli wrote on tweeter.
“Louis goes up to draw 8. Good speed inside and out so hopefully we get into a good spot close to the rail.”
Portelli was also on hand to watch Rebel Dane canter around Sha Tin on the all weather track on Wednesday morning and was happy with the way he stretched out.
“I thought he looked really well this morning (Wednesday). He was on his toes but he’s always like that and he wasn’t as agitated as he was yesterday. He probably thought he was out there to go racing yesterday,” Portelli told Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing News.
“He’s putting some weight back on and settling into the routine here now. He’s not tucked up and is generally in good order. He’s just had an easy canter today; he doesn’t need to do too much.”
“It’s not going to be easy on Sunday but we’re hopeful. On his day he can match it with the best.”
Rebel Dane is coming off a last start upset win at $61 in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21 while Takedown is also a last start Group 1 winner after scoring a tough victory in the $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on November 26.
2016 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) Field and Barrier draw.
1 – Aerovelocity (Z Purton, barrier 2)
2 – Lucky Bubbles (Brett Prebble, 5)
3 – Peniaphobia (Silvestre De Sousa, 1)
4 – Not Listenin’tome (Hugh Bowman, 4)
5 – Amazing Kids (Joao Moreira, 7)
6 – Big Arthur (Ryan Moore, 13)
7 – Rebel Dane (Ben Melham, 8)
8 – Signs Of Blessing (Stephane Pasquier, 14)
9 – Red Falx (Mirco Demuro, 10)
10 – Strathmore (Neil Callan, 3)
11 – Growl (Graham Lee, 12)
12 – Takedown (Tim Clark, 6)
13 – Pure Sensation (Christopher Soumillon, 11)
14 – Super Jockey (Karis Teetan, 9)