Rebel Dane has drifted out to 2014 Stradbroke Handicap odds of $8, but in-form jockey Tommy Berryremains hopeful that he can steer the entire to victory from his wide gate in the Group 1 event on Saturday.
Rebel Dane was on the second line of Stradbroke Handicap betting before the barrier draw was held on Wednesday morning, but his price has lengthened substantially after connections drew barrier 22 for the son of California Dane.
Trainer Gary Portelli was devastated by the wide barrier draw, but Berry is taking a more optimistic view of the wide gate and told TVN that he still believes Rebel Dane is a chance of scoring his second win at Group 1 level in the Stradbroke Handicap this weekend.
“It is not the end of the world with him as he isn’t a horse that races on the pace,” Berry said.
“He’s not a horse that you can circle the field with, he’s a horse that you have to take back and ride for luck.
“If he gets the splits you know he’ll find the line strongly late.”
Rebel Dane has scored six wins from his fifteen career starts, but his wins in the TABMagicmoments.com.au Handicap (1400m) in his second race start at Rosehill Gardens in 2012 and the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Warwick Farm during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival are the only times that he has won by more than half a length.
The four-year-old scored his maiden Group 1 victory in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) last year by the narrowest of margins from Fontelina and Solzhenitsyn and Berry admits that he will have to get his timing just right on Rebel Dane in the Stradbroke Handicap.
“He’s got a short, explosive dash and he doesn’t win by big margins,” Berry said.
“It shows how accurate you have to be when you make your run
“We don’t even need a lot of luck at the top of the straight.
“As long as he has clear running from the 200 he’ll get his chance.”
Srikandi and Hucklebuck are locked for favouritism for the feature event of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, at Stradbroke Handicap odds of $5, while there has also been a sprinkling of support for Spirit Of Boom ($7.50), Rebel Dane ($8), Red Tracer ($10) and Knoydart ($11).