Portelli Disapointed With Stradbroke Handicap Barrier Draw

By: Thomas Hackett
June 4th, 2014

Trainer Gary Portelli admits that he could not be more disappointed with the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap barrier draw of Rebel Dane, but is hoping that in-form Tommy Berry can pilot the four-year-old to victory in the Group 1 event at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Rebel Dane will need plenty of luck to score his second Group 1 victory in the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Rebel Dane will need plenty of luck to score his second Group 1 victory in the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Portelli was desperate for Rebel Dane to drawn an inside barrier to allow the California Dane entire to settle during the run, but had his hopes crushed at the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap barrier draw when barrier 22 was drawn for his star galloper.

The Warwick Farm-based trainer told TVN that it will be up to Berry to come up with a race plan for Rebel Dane in the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap  and said that he is trying to look at the positives about the outside draw.

“You can’t be happy with it, butit is what it is and Tommy is going to have to come up with a plan now, you can’t ride a race, you just have to let it unfold and see what happens,” Portelli said.

“Tommy rides with so much confidence, I’ve just got to hand the reins over mate and say do your best.

“We will just have to sit down and see if there is a chance of being midfield but we would have rather drawn a little closer.

“At least he is a finisher and it probably means now that he will have that ability to unleash.

“We are going to have to be further back than what we first anticipated but it might also mean that this horse can finish off and with 56kg he can be ridden quieter as well.

“You have got to try and find some positives out of it, but at the moment we are gutted.”

Rebel Dane returned to racing with a gallant second behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but has been plagued by wide gates in his two subsequent starts.

The Group 1 winner drew barrier seven for the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick and was trapped wide and overraced before finishing a disappointing fifth, while he was forced to settle at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), after drawing barrier ten, and worked home strongly to finish fourth, but was unable to catch Spirit Of Boom, Temple Of Boom and Buffering.

The 2014 Stradbroke Handicap odds of Rebel Dane have lengthened significantly following the barrier draw and is now available at a quote of $7.50; with Hucklebuck ($5) a narrow favourite from Srikandi ($6) and Spirit Of Boom ($7.50).

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