Jockey Glen Boss is confident that Rebel Dane is a winning chance in the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 19 after the Group 1 winner impressed in an exhibition gallop between races at Rosehill Gardens this morning.
Rebel Dane has not been seen at the races since he finished his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a seventh place finish behind Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9 and Boss told TVN that he was delighted with the physical improvement that the California Dane has made in his time away from the races.
“He meant business from the 600m, he was really quiet from then, he wanted to really go at the 600m,” Boss said.
“What I see there is a fully mature colt now; he has always been a bit backward and weak, but the muscle tone is there and has all caught up now.
“He is a serious sprinter, he has come of age and we might see a different level from him now.”
Rebel Dane broke through for his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 29 last year, but was just below the level required to win at weight-for-age-level; finishing fifth in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1400m) and seventh in the VRC Sprint Classic.
Boss is confident that Rebel Dane can step-up to another level during his autumn campaign and believes that the four-year-old deserves to be rated as one of the best sprinters in Australia.
“There are a few more cylinders under the hood,” Boss said.
“I’ve always had a lot of faith in this horse; we know the sectionals he can run.
“He is fully mature and he should have a really good preparation.
“There are some good sprinters around and I’d say he is in the top three of those going around at the moment.
“Last prep he would have been in the top five, now he is in the top three and might go to another level.”
Rebel Dane is currently available at T.J. Smith Stakes odds of $13; with the in-form Lankan Rupee ($4.60) currently favourite from Team Hawkes-trained Not Listen’intome ($6), triple Group 1 winner Buffering ($7.50) and talented colt Zoustar ($8).