Local Warwick Farm-based horseman Gary Portelli is bullish over his chances of securing the latest Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Group 1 this Saturday with conditions perfect for his galloper Rebel Dane.
After winning their opening three career runs last spring Rebel Dane came back on February 16 and retained their flawless record with a close win in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m).
While they went down next start it was a brave effort surging late to come within a short half-head of Gai Waterhouse’s star Lonhro colt Pierro in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) in the mud.
Pierro may have been resuming and Rebel Dane may have had the fitness edge that day flattering the form a little, but still it was a big run from a progressive horse indicating their potential for the Randwick Guineas.
Portelli needs no convincing he’s saddling up the right horse either despite the class of the competition which includes Hobartville third placed Proisir ($3.40), fourth placed It’s A Dundeel ($6.50) who won the Spring Champion Stakes last season and last-start Australian Guineas champion Ferlax who is at a juicy $15 for this weekend.
The trainer says that stepping up to the mile at their home track, where the bulk of the field has no experience, are two huge advantages making Rebel Dane the horse to beat in the Guineas.
“He is on his home track and he showed at Rosehill he is up to the best colt around,” he said.
“I think he will run the mile and that would make him the one to beat.”
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