Rebel Dane was one of the big winners of the 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes and trainer Gary Portelli believes that gate four gives his star galloper every possible chance to take out the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Rebel Dane has often been plagued by poor barrier draws throughout his racing career and he did not have a great deal of luck last start in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 23, but Portelli is hopeful that the California Dane entire will get an ideal run into the race from gate four and with a touch of luck will be right in the finish of the Orr Stakes.
“He should, but it all comes down to speed early,” Portelli told Racing Ahead.
“It is tricky because there are probably going to be horses there that are looking for further.
“If he gets to the right spot, he is certainly going well enough to be very competitive.
“He is not out of it and the gate puts him right into the race.”
Rebel Dane was sent to the spelling paddock following his credible third in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23, but he returned to racing in the Australia Stakes just over a fortnight ago.
The six-year-old started the race as favourite and never really looked like winning, but Portelli said that not everything went to plan in the run and the Group 1 winner will take plenty of benefit out of the run ahead of the 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes.
“It was a funny run race, they went out and didn’t go through the first 600 that quick, which had us a bit closer than I anticipated,” Portelli said.
“A little bit of pressure came from his outside at the 600 and Brenton had to get on his bike to find some clear running.
“He probably did a bit more work from the 600 to the 400 than what we were hoping and basically had a position where he had to attack the corner.
“He wobbled around the turn and probably just knocked up late.
“It wasn’t ideal, but he tried his heart out and I think he has come on from the run.”
Rebel Dane is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes odds of $17, while Lucky Hussler ($4.60) is a narrow favourite from Turn Me Loose ($4.80), Boban ($8.50) and Bow Creek ($10).