Top Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla has been booked to ride smart sprinter Rebel Dane for his Autumn Carnival campaign that will kick off in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Avdulla has retained the ride on the Gary Portelli trained six year old after a successful Spring Carnival together that saw the pair score a first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 The Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 19.
They then went on to collect the runner’s up cheque in the Group 2 $300,000 G1X.com.au Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 3 followed by a third behind Chautauqua and Srikandi in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23.
“This horse goes well fresh and last preparation he won first-up (The Shorts), although he needed the whole length of the Randwick 1100m to do it,’’ Portelli The Daily Telegraph.
“But we have 1200m at Moonee Valley on Saturday, a track he likes, and Brenton (Avdulla) is booked for the preparation.’’
Portelli has reported that Rebel Dane is in fine order for his Autumn Carnival debut in the Australia Stakes on Saturday but his preparation almost suffered a setback when the scheduled Warwick Farm barrier trials were cancelled last Monday when the ambulance failed to arrive.
But fortunately Portelli was able to trial him at Randwick the next day and with Avdulla in the saddle, ran third in an 838m heat.
“As it turned out, Rebel Dane got on a float to trial at Randwick, so at least he has had that trip away from home (Warwick Farm),’’ Portelli said.
“He is in very good order and we know the horse goes well fresh. He weighs 489kg and that is about his race weight, so he is ticking all the boxes.’’
While Rebel Dane’s only win in Melbourne was the 2013 Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, he has put in some tidy efforts at Moonee Valley with two Group 1 placings from five runs on the tricky circuit.
As well as running third in the Manikato Stakes last Spring, Rebel Dane also finished third to Buffering in the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.