Number one saddle clothe holder Rebel Dane has drawn a mid-field barrier for the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Rebel Dane will jump from gate six in the thirteen horse field at his first run back from a break that followed a three run Spring Carnival campaign which saw the six year old claim one win and two placings.
Saturday’s rider Brenton Avdulla was aboard Rebel Dane in the Spring and they collected a win in the Group 2 $200,000 The Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 19 before going on to run second in the Group 2 $300,000 G1X.com.au Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 3 followed by a third behind Chautauqua and Srikandi in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23.
Rebel Dane finished third in a recent 838m Randwick barrier trial and trainer Gary Portelli was impressed with the six year old’s hit out at Warwick Farm on Tuesday morning.
“He had a really nice gallop and I was really pleased to see him have this gallop and recover so quickly,” Portelli told Racing Ahead.
“We are very keen for the weekend now.
“We worked him over half a mile, we don’t work him too hard because he is a pretty light-framed horse and he just quickened up from the 600.
“I just liked the way that when his usual trackwork rider gave him a little bit of a squeeze at the 100, he got down and really showed a good turn-of-foot and flew through the winning post.
“It was a really good gallop.”
Last year’s Australia Stakes winner Mourinho has drawn favourably at barrier two and regular rider Vlad Duric has retained the mount.
Mourinho will be having his first start since running twelfth to Winx in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 but his Spring Carnival form before that was very good.
The Peter Gelagotis trained eight year old visited the winner’s stall twice with victories in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 15 and in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26.
Smart Adelaide sprinter Hucklebuck has drawn out wide at gate eleven with Dom Tourneur back in the saddle while Darren Weir’s dual Group 1 winner Trust In A Gust has drawn the outside gate at thirteen.
The Paul Beshara trained Richie’s Vibe was the winner of the Australia Stakes two years ago and has come up with barrier three with Damien Oliver to ride.
The in-form Durendal is chasing his fourth win on the trot after collecting a hat trick of wins with his last start victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on January 1 and has drawn nicely at gate five for Damian Lane.
Australia Stakes field: 1 Rebel Dane (6), 2 Mourinho (2), 3 Hucklebuck (11), 4 Trust In A Gust (13), 5 It Is Written (4), 6 Churchill Dancer (12), 7 Richie’s Vibe (3), 8 Durendal (5), 9 Written Up (10), 10 Kievann (1), 11 Sirbible (7), 12 Rageese (9), 13 Holler (8).