Trainer Gary Portelli believes that Rebel Dane is good enough to be a Group 1 contender this spring as the rising four-year-old readies for a return to racing.
Rebel Dane defeated a trio of Group 1 winners in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Friday morning and Portelli told Racing Ahead that he believes the son of California Dane can be competitive at racings’ highest level in the upcoming season.
The exciting colt is set to resume in the Group 3 Show County Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm on August 24 and Portelli is hopeful that Rebel Dane can progress to the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) later in the spring.
“He certainly shows everything you need from a Group 1 horse; he has got the speed, the will and the right attitude,” Portelli told RSN.
“There is a good chance for him to take on a few of the big sprints but he has got to come out of his three-year-old season and take on the older horses now.
“At this stage in my stable he is the only one that I will be aiming at a Group 1 this season.”
Portelli revealed today that he is planning on giving Rebel Dane a brief spring campaign and is already looking ahead to the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival.
“I’ll probably give him four runs this preparation and bring him back for the autumn where I think he will really flourish into a nice sprinter,” the Warwick Farm-based trainer said.
“I think next year could be where he wins a nice sprint race.”
Rebel Dane made his only Group 1 appearance to date in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), where he finished tenth behind five-time Group 1 winner Pierro.
Leading Melbourne jockey Glen Boss is expected to partner Rebel Dane during his spring campaign after riding the three-year-old to victory in last week’s barrier trial.