Next month’s 2016 Missile Stakes is scheduled for the first-up spring run of Gary Portelli’s Group 1 winner Rebel Dane.
The rising seven-year-old son of California Dane is best known for his 2013 victory in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
He went two years between that and his next win, breaking the lengthy drought last September first-up at Randwick in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m).
Rebel Dane went on to enjoy a strong spring campaign last year backing up from the Group 2 win to finish second to Terravista in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) in Sydney and then third to Chautauqua in Moonee Valley’s Manikato Stakes in Melbourne.
More recently his summer – autumn campaign produced mixed results, but featured two Group 1 fourths firstly behind Turn Me Loose in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) in February and then in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) last start on April 16 at Royal Randwick.
That’s where Portelli plans to run the stallion first-up this time in scheduling a clash with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Golden Slipper winner Capitalist in the $175,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on August 6.
Missing the race last year, Rebel Dane crossed third when beaten only a quarter-length by Sweet Idea in the 2014 Missile Stakes first-up before his Moir Stakes third that September behind Buffering.
Rebel Dane is a star performer when fresh boasting a dominant record of four wins, a second and two thirds from eight first-up runs to date that the Warwick Farm-based Portelli hopes the horse can add to this season.
Ahead of the Missile Stakes, Rebel Dane is scheduled to trial on Friday morning over 800m at his home track, a hit-out that will also include the John O’Shea-trained Vashka who was last seen winning the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup Day last October.
With one eye on the weather, Portelli said that a wet Warwick Farm track for this week’s trials would see him save Rebel Dane for a gallop at Canterbury on Saturday instead.
“If it rains and they transfer the trials to the Pro-Ride track then I will ask permission to take him to Canterbury for a gallop on Saturday,” he told Racenet.
“He’s looking great. He’s 505 kilos which is the biggest I’ve ever had him going into a campaign.
“He will go first-up into the Missile Stakes with Tommy Berry to ride.”
Berry has ridden Rebel Dane just once before for a seventh behind River Lad at Eagle Farm in Brisbane’s Stradbroke Handicap back in the winter of 2014.
A trip to Melbourne could then be on the cards for Rebel Dane for a fourth shot at the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Cox Plate Eve, Friday October 21.
The best spring odds on Rebel Dane next race will be available at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!