Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Gary Portelli’s undefeated young colt Rebel Dane will look to retain their undefeated status when they step up in class for their new season debut in the Royal Sovereign Stakes 2013 at Rosehill Racecourse this Saturday.
The son of California Dane handled all three of their first campaign assignments last spring and be out to make it a winning quartet this weekend in the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m).
One of nine colts and geldings in the mix for this year’s Royal Sovereign, Rebel Dane has drawn barrier six with regular rider Jason Collett in the saddle.
Collett has ridden the horse in all of their starts so far including their back-to-back Rosehill wins over 1400m and 1300m respectively last October.
Their most recent victory was a narrow one in a Benchmark 72 when they carried 59kg, Rebel Dane dropping back to 56kg under the set weights conditions of Saturday’s event which will be their first black type start.
Originally Portelli planned to run his emerging star first-up at Rosehill last Saturday but an unsuitably wet track foiled those plans.
He is confident however that they will be competitive in the Royal Sovereign after two impressive Warwick Farm trial wins this year.
The first was a three length romp over 800m in January before their one length hitout win over 1200m on February 4.
“He’s had two trials now and is wound up enough,” Portelli said.
“I had him ready two weeks ago and he’s where he was at then.
“We’ll know more after this weekend about what class of horse he is and where we go from there.”
There are a number of Group 1 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival targets Portelli would love to set for Rebel Dane however the fact that Gai Waterhouse’s star colt Pierro is staying on in Sydney this season has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works.
“I’m disappointed Pierro is staying here and not going to Melbourne because I’d rather not run into him in the Hobartville,” Portelli said.
The $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2 being the likely second-up run for Rebel Dane and the resuming run for last year’s Golden Slipper winner Pierro who was last seen finishing third to weight-for-age star Ocean Park in the Cox Plate.
Rebel Dane’s most notable Royal Sovereign rival is another unbeaten colt with Kiwi star Sacred Falls debuting for their new autumn carnival trainer Chris Waller.
The O’Reilly three-year-old was last seen winning their sixth race from as many starts when breaking their Group 1 maiden status in the NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton Park on November 10, their jockey back home Leith Innes travelling over for the ride.
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