Trainer Gary Portelli has confirmed that Rebel Dane will press on to the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 after recovering well from his strong fourth in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 on Saturday.
Rebel Dane was forced to settle at the tail of the field in the Doomben 10,000 after jumping from barrier ten and made up plenty of ground late, but was unable to catch the Queensland-trained trifecta of Spirit Of Boom, Temple Of Boom and Buffering.
Portelli said that he was happy with the performance of Rebel Dane in the Doomben 10,000 and is happy with the physical condition of the California Dane entire ahead of the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) next weekend.
“It was a huge run yesterday,” Portelli said.
“He got going a little early on him to try and put him in the race and the track was playing terrible for horses that were getting back and wide, but it was a tremendous effort to run fourth less than a length I support.
“Looking at him here today he looks absolutely fantastic.
“He has plenty of beef on him, he is certainly not tucked on through the flank, he is a very sound horse and he looks great in the coat.”
Rebel Dane started his autumn preparation with an impressive second behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but overraced after drawing wide in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later and conditions did not suit after he drew another outside gate for the Doomben 10,000.
Portelli is confident that Rebel Dane can breakthrough for the first win of his campaign in the Stradbroke Handicap and is just hoping that the four-year-old receives some overdue luck in the Group 1 event.
“We are off to the Stradbroke in two weeks; it is $1 million to the winner and it would be a nice cheque to pick up if things go to plan and we can draw a barrier for a change,” Portelli said.
“He will get a lot lighter weight than the 59 that he carried yesterday.
“Hopefully we will finish the preparation off on a high.
“He has been good all preparation and he has won almost $600,000 for the preparation and there are not many horses that can do that every prep.
“We are very happy with the way that he has come through the run and we just need some luck next start.”
The weights for the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap will be released shortly and jockey Glen Boss will then decide whether he partners Rebel Dane or Srikandi in the feature event of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.