Trainer Gary Portelli has revealed that he is happy with the condition of Rebel Dane ahead of the 2014 Doomben 10,000 after the Group 1 winner impressed in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens this morning.
Rebel Dane contested the open trial over 1030 metres at Rosehill Gardens and did enough to suggest to Portelli that he had recovered well from his disappointing performance behind Japanese mare Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 26.
“Kerrin McEvoy rode him in the trial and was extremely happy with him,” Portelli said.
“He settled beautifully from the inside gate and that is the key; drawing a barrier, getting the cover, putting him to sleep and then waiting for the time to press the button.
“At this stage everything is good, I am very happy with the way that he has recovered from it and he will have one more gallop before heading to Brisbane for the Doomben 10,000.”
Rebel Dane was given a lengthy spell after finishing seventh in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at the end of his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and returned to the races with a most impressive second behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
The California Dane entire was well-backed in the lead-up to the All Aged Stakes, but never looked comfortable in the run before fading in the final stages of the race to finish fifth.
Portelli said that Rebel Dane has a habit of over racing when he does not receive cover in the early stages of a race and is hoping that the application of a cross-over nose band will help him settle in the Doomben 10,000 on May 24.
“We experimented with a crossover nose band as he just races a bit keen when he doesn’t get cover as you saw in his last start in the All Aged Stakes,” Portelli said.
“He didn’t get the cover that we wanted from the wide barrier and just overraced slightly, which takes that kick out of him.
“That has happened a couple of times now, where it has taken the finish out of him, and I think that a combination of that and possibly the second-up effort took his finish away last start.”
Buffering ($4) is currently a narrow favourite in 2014 Doomben 10,000 betting markets from Rebel Dane ($4.50), Spirit Of Boom ($5.50) and Famous Seamus ($10).