Early Punter’s Pick Rebel Dane Ready For T.J. Smith

Trainer Gary Portelli is confident first-up runner Rebel Dane can figure in this weekend’s major Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) on day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick after impressing amongst talented company over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.

Rebel Dane has been confirmed for a first-up tilt at the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes

Rebel Dane has been confirmed for a first-up tilt at the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

The only runner in the eighteen horse final field yet to contest an event this season, Portelli told TVN a solid run for fifth in the well-contested Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 25th was the biggest indicator that Rebel Dane is the real deal in major sprinting events.

“The Manikato was the run that gave me confidence that he is up to it at weight for age, if he ran a shocker in that race we would never be here in this position” Portelli said.

“We would have just kept him to handicaps but I think that run was unlucky; the jockeys were playing jockeys, trying to keep Samaready in the pocket and worried about her instead of themselves.

“By the time they realised the race was going to be dominated by leaders they knocked themselves senseless, I thought he was going to run last on the turn but he picked himself up and charged home to finish fifth.

“The leaders had a picnic that night, he was able to overcome a tough run and only be beaten by a length by Buffering.”

Allocated the ideal barrier seven for the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes, Rebel Dane has already received the major share of bets since markets for opened on Tuesday evening, firming in from an opening quote of $16 to current feature as clear $11 market mover.

Having returned to the track in scintillating form this preparation and claiming two Group 1 victories back-to-back leading into the T.J. Smith, Lankan Rupee currently leads betting markets at a quote of $4, ahead of Buffering ($6) and George Ryder Stakes champion Gordon Lord Byron ($9).

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