Trainer Gary Portelli is confident that exciting sprinter Rebel Dane will have no problems handling the Flemington straight when he makes his Melbourne racing debut at the famous track in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) on Saturday.
Rebel Dane resumed with an impressive first-up win over a strong field in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Warwick Farm on August 24 that earnt him a trip to Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The California Dane entire will be contesting a straight race for the first time but Portelli believes the lack of a turn should actually improve the four-year-olds chances in the race.
“I don’t think that is going to be a concern unless he gets blocked for a run,” Portelli said on RSN.
“The way that he races, he actually can’t accelerate that well around the bend and he takes half a furlong after he is straight to hit his top.
“You would imagine if that is the case, in a straight line, it is only a matter of keeping him balanced early and making sure there is enough petrol in the tank to finish off with.”
Rebel Dane was the subject of a heavy betting plunge before his first-up assignment and Portelli made sure that he was at peak fitness for the run.
The Sydney-based trainer does not believe the Sovereign Stakes winner has improved from his Show County Quality win but said he is still in fantastic condition.
“I made sure that he was fit first-up and all I’ve had to do is keep him ticking over,” Portelli said.
“There was a fair boom on him and it was good to get the preparation off to a good horse.”
Portelli confirmed that Rebel Dane will be restricted to races over 1400 metres or shorter this campaign but the Sydney-based trainer has not yet decided on the major spring target for his star galloper.
“I am just going to take it one step at a time,” Portelli said.
“Everybody is asking where I go next but I will just get past Saturday first and then we will worry about where we go next.”
Portelli is chasing his first victory at Group level in Melbourne since Before Too Long won the Group 2 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in 2002.