Rebel Soldier, a recent European import now part of David Hayes’ Flemington stables, is set to make their Australian race debut in the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 12.
A lightly-raced Danehill Dancer four-year-old previously trained by Jeremy Noseda in the UK, the Irish-bred Rebel Soldier boasts an impressive record of three wins from their four career starts to date having won over 1600m – 2400m.
On Australia Day Hayes gave Rebel Solider their first public appearance with an exhibition gallop at Caulfield where, ridden by Brad Rawiller, the galloper came within a half-head of winning the 1200m trial.
Resuming racing after their last-start victory in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2400m) at Goodwood back in July last year, Rebel Solider will start first-up in the CF Orr.
Hayes has also nominated the promising Rebel Solider for the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington’s Super Saturday of Racing on March 12.
After the Australian Cup, Hayes could send Rebel Solider overseas again for the esteemed World Cup meeting in Dubai where he is entered for the US$10 million Dubai World Cup (2000m) and the US $5 million Sheema Classic (2400m).
The 2011 CF Orr Stakes is the opening Group 1 race of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and is shaping up as a top showdown.
Last Friday night’s Australia Stakes winner Whitefriars, reigning Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy and nine-year-old Zipping are all also heading towards the weight-for-age showdown.
Official nominations for the CF Orr Stakes will close on February 7 followed by the release of the final field on February 9.