Unbeaten colt Rebel Dane has already made his talents known but he faces the biggest test of his career by far this Saturday when he comes up against a strong field in the Group 2 2013 Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
The Gary Portelli-trained three-year-old scored three straight wins in his debut campaign during the spring before returning with a magnificent first-up performance to claim the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) on February 16.
The win gave Portelli the confidence to throw him into the deep end this weekend where he will take on Gai Waterhouse’s gun colts Pierro and Proisir.
Portelli has the utmost respect for Golden Slipper winner Pierro but believes his charge has plenty in his favour.
“I have a lot of respect for Pierro but we have race fitness on our side and we know now he can handle a wet track,” Portelli said.
The Warwick Farm trainer is excited about the son of California Dane and admits he doesn’t quite know exactly what he is dealing with yet.
“On race day he just wants to catch what is in front of him. So far he has.”
Seventeen horses were nominated for the Hobartville Stakes on Monday.
Joining Proisir and Pierro in running first-up is New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel who has returned for another Australian campaign.
The Murray Baker-trained galloper had a highly successful spring campaign, winning the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes and Group 3 Gloaming Stakes at Randwick
He then travelled to Melbourne to finish second to Super Cool in the Moonee Valley Vase before showing the effects of an arduous campaign when seventh in the Victorian Derby.
Other horses nominated for the Hobartville Stakes include Peter Moody’s impressive last-start Autumn Stakes winner Mulaazem, Light Fingers Stakes winner Bennetta and Darley trio Tatra, Solemn and Proverb.
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