Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn will be the new rider for Rebel Dane when he makes his 2014 Spring Carnival debut in the Group 2 $175,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 9.
Warwick Farm trainer Gary Portelli was on the lookout for a new rider for Rebel Dane for the Spring with Shinn getting the nod to become the sixth rider for the Group 1 winner.
Over the last twelve months Glen Boss has done the bulk of the riding on Rebel Dane, including a win in the Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2013 Spring Carnival.
And Boss was aboard when the California Dane entire finished fourth to Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 $650,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 24.
But Tommy Berry then got the mount in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 with Boss riding the favourite Srikani.
The Ciaron Maher trained Srikandi ran a mighty race to finish third to River Lad while Rebel Dane made up ground in the straight for seventh.
Craig Williams, Dwayne Dunn and Jason Collett have all had rides on Rebel Dane throughout his sixteen start career.
With Berry committed to the Gai Waterhouse stable, Shinn got the nod from Portelli.
“Be given the chance by @TelliPorts & the owners to ride there top class Racehorse Rebel Dane when he resumes next sat in the Missile Stks,” Shinn tweeted.
Rebel Dane made his first public appearance since the Winter Carnival with a third behind Celtic Prince and Dear Demi in an 800m Warwick Farm barrier trial on July 25 with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Portelli believes the best way for Rebel Dane to win a second Group 1 is to avoid a clash with sprinting sensation Lankan Rupee after running second to the Mick Price trained speedster in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“Realistically nobody wants to take on Lankan Rupee at the moment, if you can help it, and for us to try and win another Group 1 we would like to be in a race that he hasn’t turned up in,” Portelli told Sky Racing HQ.
“Our objective was to get him going a bit earlier, space his runs and keep his preparation short, sharp and sweet.
“We thought that we would go to the Missile Stakes first-up and that gives him three weeks, which has been great for him, and he can go to seven furlongs second-up and he will be perfect and spot-on.”
After Rebel Dane runs in the Missile Stakes, Portelli will head to Melbourne and prepare the five year old for the Group 1 $400,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
“I am hoping that at that point you have a few of the stayers resuming in the Memsie and some horses that are looking for some other races down the track,” Portelli said.
“He could be the fit horse that is dominant at 1400 in the race and that is the reason for being in a Group 1 so early in the season.
“We will just try and get away with another Group 1 before we have to line up against Lankan Rupee.”
The 1400m weight for age Memsie Stakes will suit Rebel Dane perfectly being over the same course and distance as his first Group 1 win in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.