Berry back for Rebel Dane Missile run
Tommy Berry will ride Rebel Dane when he resumes in the Missile Stakes on Saturday week and trainer Gary Portelli is pleased the leading jockey was aboard in a barrier trial on Monday.
Rebel Dane finished third in the trial behind Vashka and Majaska at Warwick Farm, settling off the pace and seeming to take a while to hit full speed in the concluding stages.
“It was good that Tommy has had the experience on the horse because he has lost a bit of that zip and acceleration he had when he was younger,” Portelli said.
“He is taking longer to unwind, taking a bit more riding to get to his top so I think it will be beneficial that Tommy rode him in the trial so he knows what he is dealing with on race day.”
Rebel Dane finished fourth last start in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes behind English, Black Heart Bart and Kermadec.
Portelli is keen to give Rebel Dane a gallop between races at Rosehill on Saturday, a formula he used before winning The Shorts first-up at last spring.
“Physically he is looking stronger than ever, I’ve never been happier with him,” Portelli said.
“We gave him a longer break out of the autumn last year and didn’t resume until the middle of September.
“This time around I wanted to get him in early and have him up firing before some of the big guns get back.
“After the Missile Stakes he will go to the Warwick Stakes and then we will assess the situation and look at our options from there.
“The Manikato is a race that he has performed well at in the past and it is something I’d like to take on again if we get to Melbourne.”