Rebel Dane is on track to return to racing in the 2015 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 27 after he won a barrier trial at Warwick Farm this morning.
Rebel Dane contested the fifth barrier trial of the morning over 795 metres and he was kept cost to the rail by jockey Winona Costin before he ran away from his rivals to record a comfortable win from Lucky Lago and Tiger Tees.
Portelli told Sky Racing HQ this morning that it was hard to get a good guide on the performance of Rebel Dane in the barrier trial, but he was happy with what he saw from the California Dane in his first official barrier trial this preparation.
“We just sat back and stayed up against the inside rail,” Portelli said.
“By the time he straightened he was in front because everybody went so wide.
“It was a nice hit-out really and it was hard to get a guide because half of them weren’t trying.
“I wanted to him he stretched out, she clicked him up and he quickened nicely.”
Portelli believes that Rebel Dane has had an ideal preparation for the William Reid Stakes and he is hoping to give the five-year-old an exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm next week to make sure that he is at his peak for the Group 1 event on March 27.
“I will see if I can get permission from the ATC to give him an exhibition gallop between races at Warwick Farm next Thursday,” Portelli said.
“It would be good to get that out of the way because he gets very nervous when he goes to the races without going to the races once.
“If I can bring him over here and give him the gallop, he will be spot-on to go down there.
“Everything has gone to plan and it has been a perfect preparation.”
Rebel Dane has previously had three race starts at Moonee Valley and has performed well in all three starts, but he is still chasing his maiden win at the unique venue.
The five-year-old hit the line strongly when he finished fifth in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) in 2013 and he had no luck in both the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and Manikato Stakes during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Rebel Dane has not recorded a race win since he defeated Fontelina and Solzhenitsyn to win the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).