Trainer Gary Portelli has set an ambitious Autumn program for his unbeaten three year old Rebel Dane after an impressive Warwick Farm barrier trial win on Tuesday.
Rebel Dane came with a late charge to score a three length win over 800m at his first solid test since making it three wins from three starts when scoring over 1300m at Rosehill on October 27.
Portelli’s high opinion of the California Dane colt has tempted him to take on the top class three year old races during the Autumn Carnival and he will nominate him in the Group 1 $500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 16.
“He had a nice trial, I wanted him just to get back and relax. He did that,” Portelli said.
“His work has been stronger. He just seems to be a horse that has come back and knows what he is here for now so he is ready now to take on the big guns.”
Portelli will get a better guide on Rebel Dane’s progress when he steps out for the first time this preparation at Rosehill on February 2 and then head towards the Group 2 $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 16.
“He’ll start off at this stage in about two and a half weeks’ time,” Portelli said.
“I think there is an 1100-metre Benchmark 85 race at Rosehill against older horses.
“We could start him in that or on the same day there is a three-year-old Benchmark 75, where he will carry about 60kg.I’ll nominate for both but if he looks like he can carry the weight against three-year-olds and pick up some BOBS money, we might go there.
“Then he’ll go into the Royal Sovereign Stakes. From second-up onwards, we’ll follow the traditional path to the Randwick Guineas.”
Last year’s winner top Melbourne filly Mosheen went into the Randwick Guineas after scoring a three lengths victory in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington two weeks before but the two previous winners, Ilovethiscity and Shoot Out came through the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Shoot Out won the Royal Sovereign Stakes followed by a second in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill before winning the Randwick Guineas.
While Ilovethiscity was fourth first up in the Royal Sovereign Stakes before winning both the Hobartville and the Guineas.
Portelli had a good day out at the Warwick Farm trials with two year olds Iron Meteorite and Loutrel winning their 800m heats and three year old maiden Martelletto also a winner.