Trainer Gary Portelli will be reverting back to proven tactics with Rebel Dane when he lines up in the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Rebel Dane will be returning to Sydney after running a disappointing sixth as second favourite to Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 $400,000 Brown Baldwin William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.
Portelli said that Craig Williams had Rebel Dane positioned perfectly in the first half of the field but the five year old failed to find his trademark finishing burst down the short Moonee Valley straight.
Rebel Dane has been a frequent Group 1 performer over the last two years but his only win at the top level came when he finished powerfully from back in the field to win the 2013 Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
And they are the tactics that Portelli will issue jockey Blake Shinn for the weight for age All Aged Stakes.
“Unfortunately it looks like he has to be given a cold ride … so he’ll be strong late,” Portelli told AAP.
“I was disappointed with the result. I thought he would win that race (William Reid Stakes).”
“The position he was in you would think that was the perfect position for most horses.”
“But for him I just think he was a little bit too close.
“If you get him racing early he wants to get on with it too much and he doesn’t finish the race off.”
Rebel Dane went into last year’s All Aged Stakes as the $2.20 but could only manage to finish fifth to the Japanese mare Hana’s Goal.
At his previous start the California Dane stallion ran a mighty race on a heavy 9 rated track when second to the flying Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and Portelli blames the run on the rain affected track for his defeat in last year’s version.
But a change of programing this year has seen Rebel Dane miss a hard run in this year’s T J Smith Stakes which was won by Chautauqua on a soft 7 and Portelli is hoping this will help his horse’s chances on Saturday.
“Sometimes those horses coming off a heavy track back onto a good track can have a little bit of speed taken out of them,” Portelli said.
“That’s my hope anyway. You got to have something otherwise you’re defeated before you start.”
T J Smith winner Chautauqua heads the early market order for the All Aged Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.50 just ahead of Lucky Hussler at $4.60 and the three year old Shooting To Win at $4.80 while Rebel Dane is marked as a $13 chance.
All Aged Stakes market order with Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Chautauqua, $4.60 Lucky Hussler, $4.80 Shooting To Win, $6 Terravista, $7 Wandjina, $8 Dissident, $13 Rebel Dane, $14 Generalife, $17 Scissor Kick, $31 Burbero, Famous Seamus, Laser Hawk, $41 Bull Point, Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Fontelina, $51 Weary, $67 Monton, $101 Moriarty.