Rebel Dane has contested something of a forgettable Autumn Carnival campaign so far, but trainer Gary Portelli remains hopeful the return of Jason Collett to the saddle with mean a return to winning form in Saturday’s Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
A Group 1 winner over the distance of the All Aged Stakes having taken out the 2013 edition of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Rebel Dane resumed this time for a pleasing third in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) on January 23rd before running fifth in the talent-rich Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m).
Appearing to be building to a big performance when fourth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 27th, the California Dane entire has since failed to make anything of an impression when tenth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) and ninth in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
Collett partnered Rebel Dane in his early racing career and Portelli his hopeful that his re-booking, coupled with luck in transit and at Wednesday’s barrier draw will mean a return to prominence for the popular six-year-old.
“We started off with Jason and we’re hoping the combination can kick us back into the winning form he used to be in,” Portelli told AAP.
“Hopefully we can finally draw a good gate because the horse is in absolutely superb order.
“It’s been a bit of a disastrous preparation as far as barriers go, but I don’t think I’ve ever had him this far into a preparation looking so well.
“In the TJ Smith we drew 15 and we thought we’d go forward and try to get into a good spot. We never got closer than six off the fence.”
Rebel Dane has been a strong and consistent performer through his entire racing career so far; posting seven wins and as many minors through only 30 competitive starts.
Returning to racing in spring in good condition, Rebel Dane charged home to win the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) first-up; progressing to second in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) before ending his season third in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
The 2016 All Aged Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday today.
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