2008 Victorian Derby winner Rebel Raider will return to the track after nearly a year off the scene in Saturday’s Group Three Spring Stakes at Morphettville.
There were plans to send the former Group One winner to stud, however co-trainers Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas had a change of heart and decided to bring the horse back for one last tilt at the Melbourne spring carnival.
“He’s been back in work for 16 weeks now and he’s done a fair spot of work,” Gluyas said.
“There are unknowns out there, but from what he’s shown us, he’s pretty much raring to go.”
The connections of Rebel Raider will be hoping that lightning can strike twice in the same race, as the six year old also won the Spring Stakes last year when resuming off a long break.
After winning the Spring Stakes last year, Rebel Raider was taken to Flemington for the Makybe Diva Stakes, however the horse cracked his sesamoid bone and there were fears he would have to be retired from racing.
Macdonald and Gluyas will take a slightly different approach with the horse’s spring campaign this time around and they are likely to give him at least two runs in South Australia before he goes to Melbourne.
The listed Penny Edition Stakes over 1400m at Morphettville is shaping as a likely target for Rebel Raider, who will then go onto Melbourne and target the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Rebel Raider will be reunited with Clare Lindop in the weight for age Spring Stakes and will carry 58.5kg from barrier five in the $115,000 race.
The former Derby winner has been installed as a $21.00 chance in the Spring Stakes, despite the fact that he is defending the crown he won in the race last year. He also has a rock solid first up record of two wins and two placing’s from six starts.
The Morphettville track is currently rated a Slow 7, which will be music to the ears of Gluyas and Macdonald as Rebel Raider is undefeated on slow tracks.
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