Trainer Gary Portelli is hoping a change of rider will bring a change of luck for Rebel Dane when he lines up in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Portelli has recalled Jason Collett to take the reins on Rebel Dane who has been plagued with wide barriers at his last two starts which resulted in below par performances.
Collett had success on Rebel Dane early in his career, winning four of his first six race starts, but was replaced after finishing fourth to It’s A Dundeel in the 2013 Group 1 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
“We started off with Jason and we’re hoping the combination can kick us back into the winning form he used to be in,” Portelli told AAP.
Damien Oliver has been aboard the six year old at his last three Autumn Carnival starts and the pair were beaten just over a length and a half when fourth to Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 27.
Rebel Dane then drew barrier thirteen of fourteen when tenth to Griante inn the Group 1 $700,000 Banjo Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 19 and then ninth to Chautauqua from the outside barrier fifteen in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on day one of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
“In the TJ Smith we drew fifteen and we thought we’d go forward and try to get into a good spot. We never got closer than six off the fence,” Portelli said.
“Hopefully we can finally draw a good gate because the horse is in absolutely superb order.”
“It’s been a bit of a disastrous preparation as far as barriers go, but I don’t think I’ve ever had him this far into a preparation looking so well.”
Rebel Dane has been listed as a $26 chance in early betting for the All Aged Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au who have installed the Chris Waller trained Press Statement as the $3.40 favourite ahead of Victorian four year old Malaguerra at $4.40 and the Gai Waterhouse trained English at $4.60.
Early market order for the All Aged Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Press Statement, $4.40 Malaguerra, $4.60 English, $5 Black Heart Bart, $6.50 Kermadec, $17 Goldstream, $26 Rebel Dane, $35 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Perignon, Strawberry Boy, $41 Bachman, $61 Kool Kompany.