Gary Portelli will trial his Group 1 winning stallion Rebel Dane at Warwick Farm this Friday ahead of the Memsie Stakes 2014 bound sprinter’s spring return.
The California Dane four-year-old hasn’t raced since a seventh to local Queenslander River Lad in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
That was the Syndeysider’s second run of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival following a close fourth when beaten under a length by Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
After drawing the outside barrier (18 of 18) in the Straddie, Rebel Dane was forced to the back of the field and had too much work to do.
Still it was a brave run as they were beaten only two lengths, and one Portelli is confident they can improve on when they race again this coming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Winner of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse last September, Portelli is hoping Rebel Dane can enjoy another elite level victory at the track this coming season.
He’s scheduled the 2014-15 season’s opening Group 1 race as their first major target with the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) running on August 30 where Hugh Bowman will be given the invitation to ride.
Leading up to the Memsie Stakes Portelli will likely run Rebel Dane first-up in the $175,000 Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) at home at Randwick on August 9.
His early return and early Group 1 target are partly to do with Portelli hoping to get a Group 1 win under his belt before the return of Lankan Rupee who is expected to go first-up in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 6.
Before all of that however is Friday’s trial, Rebel Dane one of nine horses engaged in the seventh hitout at Warwick Farm over 800.
The Group & Listed trial features plenty of top hopes including four from Chris Waller led by last year’s Golden Rose third placed colt Bull Point and Clarry Conners’ Dehere mare Dear Demi who ran third in the Caulfield Cup last October.
Portelli is also looking forward to the race debut at Canterbury today of Rebel Dane’s younger sister Texardini.
The Bernardini filly out of More Than Ready mare Texarcana has had two Warwick Farm trials ahead of her maiden run in the $40,000 More Than Ready Handicap (1250m).
While Rebel Dane made an instant impact when they debuted at Canterbury in September of 2012 winning their opening four starts, Portelli believes Texardini will be more of a late bloomer and is looking at her for next year’s autumn carnival.
“She’s a lovely filly, a big scopey type who will definitely get ground,” Portelli told The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
“I think she’s still immature, I’ll probably give her the one run and then tip her out again.
“She’s certainly a horse I’ve been training all along with the view she’ll get ground, I’ve been teaching her to settle, relax and finish off.
“She’s been hitting the line nicely, but she needs stoking up — she needs to be ridden along — unlike (Rebel Dane).”
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