Trainer Gary Portelli has revealed that talented sprinter Rebel Dane will return to the races in the 2016 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on January 23.
Rebel Dane was sent for a stint in the spelling paddock following his more than credible third place finish behind Chautauqua and Srikandi in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23, but he is now back in work and will have his first serious gallop tomorrow morning.
Portelli confirmed that the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) will be the initial target for Rebel Dane and he told Racing Ahead that the son of California Dane will press on to the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13 and the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on February 27 before he potentially returns to Sydney for the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) during The Championships.
“He will have his first little dash tomorrow morning and he is set to trial on the 7th,” Portelli said.
“He will head down to Melbourne for the Australia Stakes.
“The Carnivals just roll from one into another now and horses don’t get to have that break that they probably would have years ago.
“He will go back for the Orr Stakes and the Futurity.
“Depending on how he goes there we will bring him back to Sydney and have a look at the T.J. Smith again.”
Rebel Dane’s career looked like it was at a crossroads when he failed to fire in both the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) during his autumn preparation, but he returned to his best form with three impressive performances during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
The six-year-old returned to the races in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 and he was given an inch perfect ride to record a narrow win over Ball Of Muscle and Shiraz – his first since he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Rebel Dane produced another strong effort to finish a close second behind Rebel Dane in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 and he made up plenty of ground late in the Manikato Stakes.
Rebel Dane has now recorded seven wins from his 25 race starts and accumulated over $1.5 million in prizemoney for connections.