Golden Slipper winners team up in William Reid Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 20th, 2017

The Golden Slipper winning combination of jockey Ben Melham and trainer Gary Portelli will team up again with Rebel Dane in the Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Jockey Ben Melham and trainer Gary Portelli will team up with Rebel Dane, above, in the 2017 William Reid Stakes. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Jockey Ben Melham and trainer Gary Portelli will team up with Rebel Dane, above, in the 2017 William Reid Stakes. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Melham rode a brilliant race on She Will Reign on a heavy track to win his first Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill last Saturday.

Portelli was also celebrating his first Golden Slipper win and will be looking for another Group 1 win for Rebel Dane over the Moonee Valley 1200m course after Melham rode him to victory there in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Rebel Dane’s Manikato Stakes win earned him an invitation to run in the Group 1 HK$18.5m Longines Hong Kong Sprint 1200m at Sha Tin on December 11 but the seven year old failed to fire and only beat two runners home when eleventh to Aerovelocity.

Portelli said that Rebal Dane has recovered well from his trip to Hong Kong and is ready to line up in the William Reid Stakes.

“Rebel Dane took a shorter time to get over his trip to Hong Kong than we thought he would and he’s ready to go,” Portelli told AAP.

“He likes Moonee Valley and it looks like a good race for him.”

Rebel Dane has shown his liking for the tight Moonee Valley circuit in the past, recording two Group 1 placings and a Group 2 placing when third to Holler in the 2016 Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m).

During the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival Rebel Dane ran third to Buffering in the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1200m) and was also placed third behind Chautauqua and Srikandi in the 2015 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Rebel Dane’s second Group 1 win in the 2016 Manikato Stakes came three years after he claimed his first win at the elite level in the 2013 Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

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