Trainer Gary Portelli has revealed that promising sprinter Rebel Dane will not return to the races until the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
Rebel Dane was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing seventh behind Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) and is set to spend another two weeks away from the stable; with Portelli electing not to take the four-year-old to Victoria for the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
The California Dane entire is unbeaten at three first-up starts and generally performs at his best fresh so Portelli has elected to take his time to get his star galloper ready for the T.J. Smith Stakes, which is now the most lucrative sprint race in the world.
“He’s unbeaten first-up, that’s his go, so he’ll go to the T. J. Smith fresh and first-up,” Portelli told TVN.
“I went and had a look at him two days ago in the paddock and he looks magnificent.
“He’s going to come back in very good order.”
Portelli is also tossing up whether to take Rebel Dane to Queensland for the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and the talented sprinter has shown that he has the versatility to be competitive in all three Group 1 sprints in Brisbane.
Rebel Dane could contest the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 3, three weeks after the T.J. Smith, before stepping-up to 1350 metres for the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 24 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 8.
The speedy entire started his racing career with three straight wins in Sydney at the end of 2012 and stamped himself as a Group contender with a win in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) and a second place finish behind Pierro in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
Rebel Dane started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a comfortable victory in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Warwick Farm on August 24 but was beaten as a short-priced favourite in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) a fortnight later.
He bounced back to record his maiden Group 1 victory in a blanket finish in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and was far from disgraced when stepping-up to weight-for-age level in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and VRC Sprint Classic.