A start in the Group 1 $650,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 24 is still on the cards for Rebel Dane who was a beaten favourite at Randwick last Saturday.
Trainer Gary Portelli has reported that Rebel Dane has pulled up well after finishing fifth to Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) on the weekend.
But the Warwick Farm trainer is not concerned that Rebel Dane heads to Brisbane as a beaten favourite and is buoyed by the fact that the California Dane four year old has similar form as last year’s Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette.
The Peter Snowden trained Epaulette ran second to champion mare Black Caviar in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick before finishing sixth to All Too Hard in the All Aged Stakes.
“Epaulette ran second behind Black Caviar in the T.J. Smith last year, was beaten in the All Aged, then won the Doomben 10,000. We’re hoping we can do the same,’’ Portelli told The Daily Telegraph.
Portelli has only given Rebel Dane a light Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign and apart from his run in the All Aged Stakes, was beaten two lengths by Australia’s new sprinting sensation Lankan Rupee when second in the T J Smith Stakes on April 12, the first day of ‘The Championships.’
Regular rider Glen Boss could find no excuses for Rebel Dane’s three and a quarter lengths fifth in the All Aged Stakes but added that the tough run in the in the T J Smith Stakes might have affected his effort last Saturday.
“Every hope. He presented like the winner but maybe that run first-up took a bit more out of him than they thought,” Boss told Racenet after the race last Saturday.
Rebel Dane lived up to Portelli’s early expectations with a last stride win over Fontelina in the Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the Melbourne Spring Carnival last year and has earned over $1.2 million in prizemoney from six wins from fourteen starts.