Trainer Gary Portelli is confident that Rebel Dane will be back to his correct weight when he lines up in the Group 1 HK$18.5m Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Rebel Dane lost 9kg on the flight from Sydney to Hong Kong earlier in the week but the veteran sprinter has put 4kg back on and Portelli expects him to get back to his racing weight for the weekend.
“Put 4 of the 9kg he lost in flight back on in 2 days so should be perfect by Sunday,” Portelli wrote on tweeter.
Portelli was also on hand to watch Rebel Dane canter around Sha Tin on the all weather track on Wednesday morning and was happy with the way he stretched out.
“I thought he looked really well this morning (Wednesday). He was on his toes but he’s always like that and he wasn’t as agitated as he was yesterday. He probably thought he was out there to go racing yesterday,” Portelli told Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing News.
“He’s putting some weight back on and settling into the routine here now. He’s not tucked up and is generally in good order. He’s just had an easy canter today; he doesn’t need to do too much.”
“It’s not going to be easy on Sunday but we’re hopeful. On his day he can match it with the best.”
Rebel Dane is coming off a last start win in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21 just over three years since the seven year old scored his first Group 1 victory when he narrowly won the $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2013 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Portelli rounded off Rebel Dane’s Hong Kong Sprint preparation with a 1000m Rosehill barrier trial win on November 22 and the California Dane stallion is listed as a $19 chance for the Hong Kong Sprint with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Local sprinter Lucky Bubbles heads the market order at $3.50 ahead of the Japanese pair of Big Arthur at $4.80 and Red Falx at $7.50 while the Gary Moore trained Takedown is Australia’s other representative in the Hong Kong Spring and is marked at $10.
Takedown is another last start Group 1 winner and headed to Hong Kong after winning the $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on November 26.
Market order for Hong Kong Sprint at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Lucky Bubbles, $4.80 Big Arthur, $7.50 Red Falx, $9 Aerovelocity, $10 Not Listenin’tome, Takedown, $11 Amazing Kids, $17 Peniaphobia, $19 Rebel Dane, $21 Pure Sensation, Signs Of Blessing, $41 Strathmore, $51 Growl, Super Jockey.