Stallion Profile – Rebel Dane

Sentiment and luck played a large part in the Rebel Dane story, but once he got to the track, the horse did the rest. He proved one of our best sprinters for several seasons and now there’s every reason to believe he will make a success of his new career at stud.

Bluebloods’ David Bay takes a look at Rebel Dane in his July Stallion Profile. Click the below image to view the complete article.

Back to back wins for Vaucluse Bay

Vaucluse Bay (Al Maher) added a second victory on the day for Waller when he impressively took out a Benchmark 85 (2000m) at Rosehill.

The rising four-year-old gelding came into the race having won a Benchmark 74 (1800m) at the track on 15 July and yesterday he defeated More Than Fabulous (More Than Ready) by four lengths with just a short head back to Life O’Brien (High Chaparral) in third.

“He’s come of age this preparation. Today was by far his most impressive win,” Waller said.

“It was a typical Corey Brown ride, 10 out of 10. He found the right spot and makes it a lot easier for horses. He should win another race based on that pretty quick. We’ll look for a race in two weeks. If not, we’ll go three weeks.”

Bred by the Laurel Oak Power Of Love Syndicate, we would like to congratulate the winning connections of Vaucluse Bay; Mr S P Grant, Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mrs E K Grant, Mr K Grant, Mr G J Grant, Mr M Lamens, Mrs J A Gazal, Ms L A Green, Mrs L T Malouf, Mrs S Bishop, Mrs M L Bekier, Mrs L Lamens, Mrs H A Szangolies, Mrs A J Cobcroft, Mrs E C Walker, Mr D J Gazal

Acccelerato demolishes field at Bendigo

AccelHaving been knocking on the door in his three runs prior, Accelerato completely bulldozed it down this afternoon at Bendigo to break his maiden in emphatic style for Mornington-based trainer Tony Noonan.

Making the win even sweeter was the $28,400 VOBIS bonuses attached to the race which Noonan handsomely collected for long-term stable clients at Laurel Oak Bloodstock.

“With Super VOBIS and Gold VOBIS bonuses, this race is worth $51,000 which is hard to get,” said Noonan.

“ He has been disappointing on occasions but Brad (Rawiller) was able to just get a sit in behind, settle well and have a good kick.

By applying a slight change of tactics, Noonan was quietly confident that Accelerato was in for a change of fortunes if things unraveled as planned.

“He’s just been over-racing in his races and racing on nervous energy. We tried hard to get him into a position where he can take a sit.

We’ve worked hard on that at home with good results so today worked out good.”

Jumping well from the gates, Rawiller took hold of Accelerato behind a moderate tempo as Legal Mistress crossed from a wide barrier to provide cover for the 3-year-old son of Fastnet Rock who had led in is three runs prior.

Tracking through the bend well, a gap opened for Rawiller upon straightening as Accelerato ($4.20) effortlessly quickned under quiet riding before opening up a big margin to score by 7 lengths from Aquifer Mist ($21) and Legal Mistress ($15).

“Looking at the race, I’d expected we probably would be the leader but Tony was happy if something would go quick enough, we’d be able to get a sit as it worked out,” said Rawiller after the win.

“He had a good turn of foot so when we got the split, he was just too good.”

Having run placings in the three starts prior, Accelerato’s maiden win today took his earnings to $54,525 at his sixth career start.

News from Tony Noonan Racing

Lipizzan to enhance her record at home

He might not have won as many two-year-old races as some of the bigger stables this season but Gary Portelli can still claim bragging rights with the performances of She Will Reign capped by her Golden Slipper triumph.

While Lindsay Park, Godolphin, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and Peter and Paul Snowden lead the charge for juvenile winners, Portelli has racked up 10 including the biggest of all.

She Will Reign won four races while Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s Lipizzan can make it three when she steps out at Warwick Farm on Saturday along with stablemate Nicci’s Gold who broke her maiden at Newcastle last month.

Portelli will return later this week from a short break in New Zealand for a rare Saturday meeting on his home track.

“Lipizzan has always shown ability and her form on wet tracks is a bonus at this time of year,” Portelli said.

“Rachel King will ride her again. She’s won two on her and we get to use her claim.

“Nicci’s Gold has been a little revelation.

“We didn’t expect her to win over 900 metres at Newcastle and then she’s come out and run second on the Beaumont track up there over older horses.

“I’ve always been pretty keen on her.”

Comeback jockey Josh Adams has ridden Nicci’s Gold at her past two starts and will again be aboard on Saturday when she runs over 1200 metres.

Sydney’s champion apprentice in 2010/11, Adams spent three years out of the limelight undergoing rehabilitation while serving a disqualification for a positive drug swab.

He returned to race riding earlier this year and made his first trip to Sydney on June 10 when he steered The Monstar to win the Listed June Stakes.

There were 13 entries taken on Monday for the two-year-old race including the Snowden-trained Star Galaxy who finished third to Lipizzan at Randwick on June 24.

While the two Portelli-trained fillies are trying to gain more late-season prize money, She Will Reign has returned to the stable after a break to be prepared for a two-run campaign with the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley the proposed lead-in to The Everest at Randwick in October.


Portelli full of praise for little Lipizzan

“She is so small, she is only 420kg but has a heart the size of her body.’’

This was trainer Gary Portelli’s description of the two-year-old filly — and he wasn’t talking about his Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, either.

Portelli made the comment after Lipizzan scored a dominant win in the McGrath Estate Agents Plate (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

“From the first time we started working her she showed ability but I thought this might be short-lived because she is only little,’’ the trainer said. “Even when you put a saddle on her, she seems dopey and quiet, she looks like she is not interested.

“But as soon as you walk her out to the tie-up stalls, she puffs her chest out, tries to grow a hand and puts her game face on. She is all racehorse.’’

Lipizzan ($4.80) was having her sixth start for the season, scoring her second win (plus four minor placings) when she raced away from early leader Last Starfighter ($3.50 favourite) to win by nearly three lengths with Star Galaxy ($3.60) three-quarters of a length away third.

Portelli is renowned as a master trainer of juveniles and revealed he has won 10 two-year-old races this season from a team of only 17 youngsters. “We still have a couple more to come out to the races in the next few weeks, too,’’ Portelli said.

Portelli said he won’t necessarily send Lipizzan to the spelling paddock after her latest win.

“I’m a great believer that when fillies are racing well, you keep them going,’’ he said.

“She is showing no signs of training and the prizemoney with the BOBs bonuses is so good — she has picked up $74,000 for her owners today.

“I will see how she comes through this race before making any decisions but on what she showed today, we might be able to find another race for her over winter.’’

News: Ray Thomas – Daily Telegraph, Image: Simon Bullard

Lipizzan ‘Has Heart As Big As Her Body’

There is not a lot of Sebring filly Lipizzan but as Gary Portelli said after she took out the opener at Randwick – “she has a heart as big as her body.”

The two-year-old was put in a perfect trailing spot by in form apprentice Rachel King and Lipizzan did the rest, surging past leader and race favourite Last Starfighter.

“None try harder than her,” Portelli said.

“She had 52kg on her back, she is fit horse and never runs a bad race. She is a great little horse for Laurel Oak syndications – they bred the horse. I raced her mother too. She is bred to handle the wet being by Sebring by a Commands mare so it’s a good time to have her in.”

Lipizzan, who has never missed a place in her six starts, which includes two wins, only tips the scales at 420kg and is only 14’2 in height.

“She has a heart as big as her body,” Portelli said. “It just goes to show that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

“There is a little bit of upside to her and next preparation I think we might see a really handy filly.”

The victory made it four straight Saturdays in which two kilo claimer King, who is apprenticed to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, has ridden a winner.

“She has done a good job today stepping up in trip. She was able to switch off nicely in behind them and put them away well. She was still a bit green in front as she does get a bit lonely,” King reported upon dismounting.

“She saw out the 1200m very easily and would have come if something had come to her. She is very genuine and doesn’t know she is a little horse.”

Sebring Winner for Laurel Oak

The Gary Portelli stable continued a great run of success with their juveniles at Canterbury on Wednesday with a front running victory for Lipizzan, a $120,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Laurel Oak Bloodstock from the Newhaven Park draft.

A brave second in the Listed Woodlands Stud Stakes at Scone when resuming from a spell, Lipizzan was sent out favourite for this 1100 metre maiden despite drawing near the outside.

Ridden forward by apprentice Rachel King, the daughter of Sebring quickly worked across to lead and was never headed to win by a length and a quarter.

“She’s always shown a lot of potential,” said Gary Portelli.

“She drew wide at Scone and fought on strongly, so I always thought if she dropped back to a midweek race she could just win.

“She’s a BOBS filly, so now we’ll try and win as much prizemoney with her as we can.”

With a win and three placings, Lipizzan has already won over $70,000 for her large group of Laurel Oak Bloodstock owners.

The 13th two year-old winner this season for Sebring, Lipizzan was bred by Laurel Oak in partnership and is the first winner for Absolutely Flying, a Commands three-quarter sister to Group III winner Camporella.

News from Breednet

Rebel Dane retired and ready for stud

The successful racing career of Rebel Dane, a dual Group 1 winning entire, has concluded and a new phase as a stallion at Swettenham Stud this spring now awaits.

While the team at Swettenham Stud is full of excitement at the arrival of the stunning seven-year-old, it has been a sad past week for all at Portelli Racing as they said goodbye to their stable favourite.

It was evident by the way Portelli spoke about his old champ, that there was a real sense of respect and awe, looking back at what this horse has accomplished throughout his career.

“He was such great flag bearer for the stables, a great booster to staff morale racing at Group level each carnival, and the old saying rings true “you don’t know what you miss till it’s gone,” Portelli said.

“Horses like him don’t come around very often, not with his record. He has more wins and placings at Group 1 and 2 level than what most horses going to stud have had starts,” Portelli said.

“He raced the best, at the highest level, season after season, he couldn’t dodge them, he always put up a fight. He is a genuine Group 1 horse, he raced and beat the best horses in the country.”

“He is a war horse, he has finished sound, he never had an issue, a real trainers horse.”

“I hope he sets the trend for breeders to appreciate well-campaigned, well performed and proven gallopers, and the advantages of breeding to them.”

Louis Mihalyka of Laurel Oak Bloodstock, Rebel Dane’s managing owner, reflected on his career and is excited about his future as a successful stallion.

“Having a horse race in Group 1 or 2 company for over 30 starts is an owner’s dream. The fact he was competitive virtually every time he raced made it even more special,” Mihalyka said.

“The Manikato Stakes win was the highlight as there were nine Group One winners in the ten horse field. Once he drew well we knew he had a chance and the fact he delivered was a magic moment in life for all of us.

“Bred on a Danehill/More Than Ready cross, he has the pedigree to go with his looks and soundness, to be as good at stud as he was on the racetrack. We are really looking forward to the next stage of his career.”

Rebel Dane will stand for the a fee of $12,500 (incl. GST)

News: TBV

Back from injury, Mr Optimistic storms home from last for big win at Mornington

Tony Noonan Racing :: Back from injury, Mr Optimistic storms home from last for big win at Mornington

Having overcome two serious tendon injuries, it was a delightful sight at Mornington for owners of Mr Optimistic, who stormed his way back into the winners’ circle for local trainer Tony Noonan.

With Mr Optimistic resuming from a spell having endured two consecutive tendon injuries over the past 18 months, Noonan was understandably ecstatic with the result.

“It’s just such a relief to see this horse back in the winners’ circle because he showed us so much as a younger horse before he sustained two serious injuries,” Noonan said.

“Full credit has to go to the owners because they have been extremely patient and understood what we have been trying to do.

“He (Mr Optimistic) had only had two runs in 18 months so to have him finally sound, it was just good to see him hitting the line like we saw earlier in his career”

Slow out of the gates under rider Jake Noonan, Mr Optimistic settled at the tail of the field behind a strong tempo with the younger Noonan remaining ever patient as the race unfolded ahead of him.

Stuck behind a wall of horses down the side of the track, Noonan started looking for runs prior to straightening but with the field fanning wide, he elected to go back towards the inside, spotting the leader six lengths upon straightening.

When the gap finally opened by the 125m mark, the Mr Optimistic ($4.80) surged through under patient hands-and-heels riding to hit the front and ultimately score by half-a-length from Bisseu ($8) and Bicondova ($15).

“This horse has 62 kilos here today so just riding him that way and riding him for a bit of luck was always going to suit him if the luck played its way,” Jake said after the win.

“He just came onto the bridle right when I needed him to from the 500 and things just opened up on the inside.

“He’s a classy horse on his day. He’s stakes-placed and was just too good. He’s a classic Tony Noonan horse – ridden cold to finish off.

“A big thank you goes to the owners because it can be quite frustrating when you’ve got a horse of his ability and you don’t get to quite reach the standard you know he can make.

“The fact that he’s got that potential has kept us in the game and it’s good that they’ve stuck by us and stuck solid.”

The win was the second of Mr Optimistic’s career having shown promise as a 2-year-old when placed in the Group 3 Hampden before succumbing to consecutive tendon injuries.

The 4-year-old Domesday gelding was the first foal of Group 3 winner Be Positive, also trained by Noonan for Laurel Oak Bloodstock, and is the older half-brother of She’s Positive (Sepoy) who Noonan trained to win the Adelaide Magic Millions Classic.

News from Tony Noonan Racing

Rebel Dane to stand at Swettenham Stud

Adam Sangster of Swettenham Stud and the owners of Rebel Dane are delighted to announce that the dual Group One-winning stallion will stand at Swettenham Stud from the 2017 season.

Rebel Dane will continue his racing career over the coming weeks in a number of Group One options that will be available to him in Sydney, Brisbane or Adelaide before the curtain comes down on a magnificent racing career.

Rebel Dane has raced in top-class company for the majority of his career and his last 30 starts have been in Group One or Group Two company, a testament to his ability and his soundness. Since his 4th career start he has not raced below Group 3 company.


His Group Ones win have come in the Manikato Stakes and the Rupert Clarke Stakes. After his magnificent win in the $1million WFA Manikato Stakes last October Rebel Dane contested the Hong Kong International Sprint, where he was beaten just over four lengths after a wide run in a race that was rated one of the best International Sprints in 2016.

He has been a high-class racehorse for several seasons and the opportunity to stand him at Swettenham Stud was enthusiastically accepted by Rebel Dane’s owners. Louis Mihalyka of Laurel Oak Bloodstock, Rebel Dane’s managing owner reported ‘Standing Rebel Dane in Victoria was a natural fit as the horse has won his two Group Ones there and a number of Victorian Studs expressed interest in him. The opportunity to stand him at Swettenham is simply a bonus as they are one of the leading stud farms in Victoria with a wonderful reputation and  a well-established client base that will give Rebel Dane the opportunity for a successful stud career.’

Adam Sangster was equally enthusiastic. ‘The opportunity to access a dual Group One-winning sprinter is rare for Victorian breeders, especially the winner of one of our iconic sprint races the Manikato Stakes. We were keen to get the stallion for Swettenham Stud and Victoria and were delighted when the owners agreed. He will provide Victorian breeders the opportunity to access a sound, high-class sprinter bred on the successful Danehill/More Than Ready cross that will compliment Swettenham’s existing stallion roster and be ideal for SuperVOBIS.

Trainer Gary Portelli was also effusive in his praise. ‘Rebel Dane has been an incredible horse over the past five years for me competing at an elite level every start. His speed, temperament, and courage were matched by his soundness. I can’t wait to be training his progeny.”

Rebel Dane’s career earnings to date are over $2.4m and his wins aside from his Group One victories include the Group 2 The Shorts, Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes and Group 3 Show County. He has also been placed nine times in Group One or Two company highlighting what an exceptional sprinter he is.

By California Dane, Rebel Dane is bred on the Danehill/More Than Ready cross and as a Group One sprinter should make an exceptional SuperVOBIS stallion.

A service fee for the upcoming breeding season will be announced shortly.

News from Swettenham Stud

Rebel Dane Prepares For Stud Duties

Dual Gr1 winner Rebel Dane is not only preparing for the richest race of his career but he’s also eyeing a stud career from the 2017 breeding season.

The Gary Portelli trained 7YO is looking in the finest form of his career, fresh from a convincing win in the prestigious Gr1 Manikato Stakes and preparing for the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint on 11 December. On his return to

On his return to Australia he’ll be set for the Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in April, with a Queensland campaign an option after that. Louis Mihalyka,

Louis Mihalyka, syndicate manager at Laurel Oak Bloodstock, says Rebel Dane’s owners would support him, but don’t have large-scale broodmare holdings to stand him themselves.

“The owners are now considering options out of the Hunter Valley mainstream and believe Rebel Dane’s next step will be better suited to studs in Victoria, Queensland, New Zealand, South Australia, Western Australia or Tasmania,” Mihalyka said. “His last 27 starts have all been in Group One or Two company which is a testimony to his ability.”

He added: “Until now Rebel Dane has stayed in training as his earning potential on the racecourse has exceeded the value of offers received for him. The time has now come to find a stud position for this high-quality racehorse.” Mihalyka estimates a stud could successfully stand him at around $8,000, which would make him an attractive and worthwhile investment in the $1.2 million to $1.5 million range.

“Of course, if he can achieve further success in Hong Kong, his reputation and appeal will be further enhanced.”

Full steam ahead to Rebel Dane’s next adventure

Rebel Dane is breathing a lot easier these days and so is his trainer.

Gary Portelli credits a successful throat operation and a change in his training methods with getting the horse back to Group One-winning form which he hopes he can transfer to the big stage in Hong Kong.

Rebel Dane’s win in the Manikato Stakes earned him an invitation to the International Sprint at Sha Tin on December 11.

The seven-year-old will tune up for the trip with a barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday which will be held on the course proper as a mark of respect for Australia’s lone representative at this year’s showcase meeting in Hong Kong.

Rebel Dane took three years from his first Group One win in the Rupert Clarke Stakes to win his second with many near misses in between.

‘He can breathe normally now and he turns up on race day,’ Portelli said.

‘And I’ve got no doubt the way we are training him has helped. He has gone over a few jumps and we’ve been taking him to the beach and the change of scenery has sharpened him up.

‘At the moment he is the best I’ve had him this deep into a preparation.

‘He’s vibrant and happy and has four sound joints which is always a plus.’

Portelli has no concerns about how Rebel Dane will handle the trip to Hong Kong on December 4, a week before the big race.

‘He’s done many trips to Melbourne and Brisbane on a float so I think a plane to Hong Kong will be much easier,’ he said.

‘There are no traffic lights or turns. It will be a breeze.’

A seven-year-old, Rebel Dane has earned more than $2.4 million but attempts to find a suitable home at stud have so far come to nothing.

And if a stud can’t be found, Portelli is more than happy to keep him in his Warwick Farm stable.

‘He’s part of the furniture and I hate to think about the day he retires,’ he said.

‘I’d be happy to keep training him for another year.’

A field of six will take part in Tuesday’s 1000m barrier trial.

News from AAP Racing

Laurel Oak looking for ‘significant’ victory as Rebel Dane heads to Hong Kong

Gary Portelli, some 25 years ago, was dreaming of training racehorses in the ‘big smoke’ as he worked the nightshift, making pies at a bakery in Orange, a country town 254 kilometres west of the New South Wales state capital, Sydney.

That dream became a reality in 1996 when the man who brings recent Group 1 winner Rebel Dane to Hong Kong for December’s LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint set up stables at Warwick Farm, which is still fundamentally west of Sydney but more than 200 kilometres closer.

Ten years earlier, the seven-year-old stallion’s managing owner Louis Mihalyka set his dream in place when he abandoned the security of his career as an accountant – also in Sydney – to take on the much more fickle and fanciful world of horse racing by establishing Laurel Oak Bloodstock.

“I loved racing from my mid-teens. I worked as a chartered accountant for twelve years after leaving school but left the day before my thirtieth birthday; went on an overseas holiday for seven months and started Laurel Oak on my return, which I had really planned even before I left the accounting job,” Mihalyka.

Interestingly, Mihalyka – who bred Rebel Dane – recalls that he wasn’t the only young man then employed with Coopers & Lybrand with a passion for horse racing.

“In 1981, when I moved to Coopers (& Lybrand) there was a young university graduate in my audit group. The young graduate was John Camilleri, who bred the champion mare Winx, so that audit group provided the breeders of the two Group 1 winners at the Cox Plate meeting 35 years later,” he said.

This year’s HKIR will certainly not be Mihalyka’s first encounter with Hong Kong racing. Each year, he manages a tour group of enthusiastic owners and racegoers generally affiliated with his racing and bloodstock business, to the December meeting at Sha Tin.

Indeed it will not be his first visit as an owner. Laurel Oak had an interest in Into The Night who was beaten seven and a quarter lengths into ninth placing behind the all-conquering Silent Witness in the 2003 Hong Kong Sprint and Mihalyka is looking forward to having another ‘crack’ at the sprint title.

“Everybody loves travelling to Hong Kong, I certainly do and this year we come with an in-form horse. I understand it’s no easy task to go there and win but Rebel Dane is a very good horse and generally underrated. His asset has always been his devastating dash. He can really sprint for 150 to 200 metres and if he gets the right run in the race, as he did at Moonee Valley, then he can be very effective,” he said in reference to his 21 October Manikato Stakes win.

Mihalyka said that to win an international race with Rebel Dane would be especially significant. “We started Laurel Oak with our first horse in January 1986 and had our first winner in June 1987, which was Georgian Gold who is the great grandmother of Rebel Dane, so there’s a great history with this horse,” he said.

As to Portelli, his dream has materialised in the shape of major races wins from Group 1 sprints with Rebel Dane and Gold Trail to an ATC Oaks success with Rena’s Lady and this too will not be his first racing trip beyond home shores.

It was Gold Trail with whom he travelled in 2010 – going to New Zealand, Singapore and England: the gelding won the G1 Railway Stakes, ran fourth in the G1 KrisFlyer International Sprint and was 10th in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes.

“I’m really looking forward to going (to Hong Kong). It will be a great experience. The horse is in great form, he couldn’t have come through his last run any better and we think he can be competitive.

“I’ve spoken to Michael Hawkes who went over with Chautauqua earlier this year, to get some insight into how things work in the quarantine stables and he’s been great. You go somewhere new and it’s wise to get as much help as you can.

“Back in those days in Orange, in between riding some track work and working at the bakery, I certainly dreamed of going to Sydney to train but I couldn’t have imagined that overseas travel with a horse was ever going to happen. But here we are, bound for Hong Kong and my feeling is ‘why not, let’s have a go,’” Portelli said.

Steve Moran,
Hong Kong Jockey Club

Unsung Dane Proves To Be The Rebel In Manikato

It was probably the last thing Louis Mihalyka wanted to hear as he sat eating his lunch last Friday.

Attending a special Cox Plate eve function, Mihalyka listened on as MC, Steve Moran discussed Rebel Dane’s chances in the Group One William Hill Manikato Stakes that night.

Moran pointed out that Rebel Dane’s previous three efforts in the Manikato had seen him miss out by a cumulative 3.2 lengths … costing Laurel Oak and connections some $1.6 million in earnings. Moran actually said he thought Rebel Dane was good value at the odds, given his record in the race, and now that he had drawn a good barrier.

Turned out to be quite prescient as Rebel Dane – who was bred by the Laurel Oak Texarcana Syndicate and is part-owned by Mihalyka’s Laurel Oak Bloodstock – got up in a thriller. Hugging the rail throughout, Rebel Dane surged to the lead turning for home and had enough left in the tank to hold off a fast finishing Fell Swoop.

“That was a terrific thrill after having finished fifth, fourth and third with the horse in the last three Manikatos,” Mihalyka points out. “Seriously, this horse has had to contend with some absolutely diabolical barrier draws throughout his career: amongst them he drew 10 of 11 in the Doomben 10,000 and finished less than a length off the winner, jumped from 18 in a field of 18 in the Stradbroke and got beaten just on two lengths … he’s a much better horse than has been given credit for and has top four finishes in 20 black type races.”

The Manikato lowered the colours on two of racing’s superstars in Chautauqua and Buffering, with the former out until autumn and the latter retiring after a brilliant career that produced seven Group One victories and over $7.3 million in stakes.

However, Mihalyka reveals that no immediate plans have been made for Rebel Dane. “As for what happens from here, I’ll have to talk it over with (trainer) Gary Portelli,” Mihalyka adds. “He might be spelled until autumn, but I also got a call from Hong Kong at 7.55am on Sunday about him running in the big sprint race at Sha Tin in December and he’d had his (inoculation) shots by 8.30am!

“It’s very tempting to try and follow Australian-bred sprinters like Chautauqua, Sacred Kingdom, Silent Witness, Absolute Champion and co. that have raced to Group One success in Hong Kong, but we’re really just keeping our options open at this stage.”

Given that Laurel Oak is the Australasian agent for Brain Pedigree Analysis, Mihalyka was quick to add that Rebel Dane is a “Brain mating” but agreed – on paper – that the pedigree page was unfashionable. Indeed, apart from Rebel Dane, black type is almost non-existent in the first five dams.

“Georgian Gold, Rebel Dane’s third dam, was actually our first Laurel Oak winner back in 1987,” Mihalyka recalls. “She ran nine consecutive city placings at one stage and eventually won five races – three of those in town – so we decided to send her to stud.

“Her second foal, March To The Sea, was with Kerry Jordan who had a high opinion of him and thought he was stakes class. He won five. The half-brother, Rustaveli, won three as well but a promising career was cut short by injury.

“Same with Rebel Dane’s dam, Texarcana, who won three races but was more talented than her ultimate record showed and her career was cut short by equine influenza. It’s not a commercial pedigree by any stretch but it has a lot of very good city-class horses.

“Funnily enough, when we did the Brain mating that resulted in Rebel Dane, it came up with two options … California Dane and another Hunter Valley stallion.

“When we tried to book into the other one we were told that the mare’s pedigree wasn’t good enough so we went to California Dane.”

HOOFNOTE: It has been a big week for Laurel Oak with another of its home-breds in Maygrove winning the Listed Jakkalberry Classic at Rotorua on 15 October, while Rebel Dane’s Manikato Stakes was followed up by Sir Bacchus winning the lucky last, giving Mihalyka a running double at Moonee Valley’s premier night meeting.

By Sebring out of the Encosta de Lago mare, Bacchanal Woman, Sir Bacchus is raced in partnership by Laurel Oak and was purchased by Mihalyka at the 2014 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale for $130,000.

“The breeder (Lockyer Thoroughbreds) is a Brain client and the yearling was a really nice type and, as it turns out, a very good racehorse.”

Story: Aushorse

Winning Double for Laurel Oak

The equal highest earning BOBS winner for the past season, consistent Sebring four year-old Sir Bacchus scored an eye catching last to first win at Moonee Valley on Friday night bringing up a memorable double for Laurel Oak Bloodstock, who also won the Group I MVRC Manikato Stakes with Rebel Dane

Given a patient ride by Kerrin McEvoy, the Chris Waller trained grey was able to overhaul the leaders and win the 1200 metre open event by a long neck as favourite.

A $130,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale purchase for Laurel Oak Bloodstock from the draft of Widden Stud, Sir Bacchus has won six of 12 starts earning over $368,000 in prizemoney.

He was bred by David O’Keefe’s Lockyer Thoroughbreds and is the first foal of his stakes-winning Encosta de Lago mare Bacchanal Woman.

Bacchanal Woman was on-sold last year at the Inglis Broodmare Sale where she was snapped up by Goldin Farms for $340,000.

Laurel Oak purchased a Sepoy filly from Bacchanal Woman for $230,000 from the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale this year.

News from Breednet

Group 1 Manikato Stakes to Rebel Dane!

Rebel Dane shocked punters winning Friday night’s $1 million Group I Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in his fourth attempt.

The seven-year-old entire finished fifth in the Manikato Stakes in 2013, fourth in 2014 and third in 2015 before winning and despite having not won in 12 starts since winning The Shorts last September. Trainer Gary Portelli said the easing track gave him confidence.

Settled in sixth place along the inside by Ben Melham, Rebel Dane ($61) was able to come through unimpeded along the inside into the home straight and powered home to defeat Fell Swoop ($7.50) by a head with Japonisme ($16) one length away third.

“The cut in the ground certainly helped him and he’s always run well in this race,” Portelli said.

“What a ride – I saw him (Melham) have a look behind him when he tried to push Holler out the way then he cut back to the inside – that’s what won the race.

“I knew he (Rebel Dane) still had it in him, the sectionals he ran last start were the best outside of Astern so I said we’ve got to have a go at this race.

“Sometimes you can be right and he’s won at a massive price.”

Portelli said he had been mixing up Rebel Dane’s routine to keep the seven-year-old stallion interested in his work.

“We’ve been taking him down the beach, putting him over some jumps, just trying to break things up,” Portelli said.

“I’ve got to thank the syndicate for letting me have another crack at this race – we could have pulled up stumps earlier in the campaign but we’ve been confident the horse is right and it was just a matter of him getting some luck.”

Ben Melham said Rebel Dane enjoyed a trouble-free run.

“There was that much room there I was a bit worried the grey (Chautauqua) might have come through there so I had a good look,” Melham said.

“When he wasn’t there, I was happy to have a crack and my horse gave me a good kick. I gave him a click before the corner and he picked up underneath me.”

Rebel Dane won in 1:10.99, the fastest 1200m race on a soft (5) rated track since 2011

Rebel Dane

News from Sportingnews

Maygrove wins Listed Jakkalberry Classic

Maygrove made light work of his topweight of 60kgs to record a strong win in the $50,000 Listed Jakkalberry Classic at Rotorua.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained gelding got his New Zealand Cup campaign back on track after the grey had missed two races due to rain-affected tracks recently.

Ridden for the first time by Michael Coleman, Maygrove settled midfield, as Admiral and I’llav Bubbles set the pace. Maygrove moved forward to the leaders close the turn then strode clear of the opposition to win by a length and a quarter. Gentil Tonton (S.Spratt) finished strongly for second, with six lengths to Flyinby (A.Schwerin) in third.

Maygrove’s winning time was 2:10.35 for the 1950 metres on a Heavy10 track.

“He’s a very good horse. He’s been consistent all the way through, especially on left-handed tracks. I wasn’t too worried about the conditions. I looked back at his win in the Awapuni Gold Cup on a heavy track and he won well that day, so I was quite confident today – even with the 60 kilos,” winning rider Michael Coleman said.

“He travelled really nicely, and got through the ground well. He possibly got there a bit too soon, but you don’t want to lose any of your momentum in this sort of going,” Coleman added.

Maygrove now shares $8 favouritism with the in-form Chris Wood trained galloper Pacorus for the next month’s Group 3 New Zealand Cup. Gentil Tonton is at $14.

“He won well today, it was pretty easy in the end with his big weight. We’ll probably only get one more race into him before the Cup – it will probably be in the Metropolitan (2500m), then the New Zealand Cup (3200m) a week later,” co-trainer Murray Baker said.

The six-year-old has now had 36 starts for seven wins – including three stakes races. Along with Saturday’s win, was last year’s Wellington Cup (Group 2) the Awapuni Gold Cup (Group 2), and with 10 placings has earned over $340,000 in prize-money for owners Lib Petagna and P W O’Rourke.

Bruce Perry purchased Maygrove for $110,000 from Haunui Farm’s draft at the 2012 Karaka Select Yearling Sale where the son of Authorized was offered on behalf of the Laurel Oak Lady Zhivago Syndicate.

Bowman weighs up Sir Bacchus’ prospects

Sir Bacchus captured his fifth career win when resuming in a 1200-metre benchmark 85 handicap last month at Rosehill.

The flashy grey will start in an identical race this Saturday, only this time he will be asked to shoulder 61.5kg as opposed to 59.5kg.

A 2kg rise at the top end of the weights is of some concern to rider Hugh Bowman but Sydney’s leading jockey has no doubt in the horse’s ability.

“He has got a bit of weight,” Bowman said.

“But I think he’s a horse that can carry a weight against this sort of grade. He’s obviously a horse that needs things to go his way but he’s pretty handy.”

Having carried a minimum of 57kg at eight of his nine career starts (56kg on debut), Sir Bacchus could be entitled to some weight relief in the coming weeks.

“I’m sure he’ll make it to stakes company but I just don’t know where he’ll fit in,” Bowman said.

“He might be a horse that could be better in a really good race with no weight than sort of going through that Listed/Group III stage.

“I just think he might be a horse that could pop up in an Epsom or possibly one of those Group I handicaps in Melbourne and he’d get in really low.

“I think he would be more suited by that than carrying bigger weights in Listed/Group III company.”

Early punters baulked at Sir Bacchus’ opening quote of $2.20 which has since eased to a top price of $2.50 with Sportsbet. The undefeated Bullrush, trained by Hawkes Racing, is shaping as Sir Bacchus’ biggest danger, quoted a $3.60 second favourite.

Tom Walter, Racenet

Major NSW Prizemoney Increases

Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club today announced that as of 1 October 2016 the minimum prizemoney for Saturday metropolitan races will increase to $100,000 per race.

“This increase headlines several prizemoney initiatives totaling almost $53 million annually which has been announced this year, capping off a surge in NSW prizemoney over four years,” said Racing NSW Chairman, Mr John Messara AM.

“Today’s announcement is a further step towards achieving a vital component of Racing NSW’s Strategic Plan, intended to financially stimulate the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry.

“In 2012, total NSW prizemoney was $118.9 million. Following today’s announcement, I’m delighted to advise that annual prizemoney in NSW will be more than $204 million, an increase of $85 million over that time.

“These increases are entirely sustainable and are fully-funded from the proceeds of the sale of digital media rights, Race Fields legislation fees and parity,” Mr Messara added.

Increases to prizemoney are highlighted as follows:

* Metropolitan Saturday minimum prizemoney increasing to $100,000 per race or almost 18% on 1 October 2016 from $85,000 per race.

* Provincial minimum prizemoney increasing to $30,000 per race or 36% on 1 October 2016 from $22,000 per race in June 2016.

* Country TAB minimum prizemoney increased to $20,000 per race or 33% on 1 July 2016 from $15,000 per race in June 2016.

* Country Sky 2 minimum prizemoney increasing to $10,000 per race or 25% on 1 October 2016 from $8,000 per race.

* Addition of an eighth race to 20 selected midweek and night ATC race meetings from 1 October 2016, injecting a further $800,000 in prizemoney.

* Inclusion of an $80,000 feature race on ATC night meetings from 1 October 2016, injecting a further additional $320,000 in prizemoney.

* Group 2 race prizemoney increasing to a minimum of $200,000 per race or 14% on 1 October 2016 from $175,000.

* Group 3 race prizemoney increasing to a minimum of $150,000 per race or 20% on 1 October 2016 from $125,000.

* Listed Race prizemoney increasing to a minimum of $125,000 per race or 25% on 1 October 2016 from $100,000.

* Inclusion of a $150,000 feature race on selected metropolitan meetings.

* BOBS bonuses of $20,000 to be added to two and three year old Listed races from 1 October 2016.

* Country and Provincial Championships qualifying heats to be run for $150,000.

* A fortnightly $40,000 provincial maiden race on selected meetings from 1 October 2016.

* Thirty $40,000 country restricted maiden races on selected Showcase meetings from 1 October 2016.

Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer, Darren Pearce said the depth and breadth of today’s announcements for Sydney racing were among the most significant in the Club’s history.

“The ATC is fully funding more than $4 million to increase all metropolitan Saturday races to $100,000, setting the new benchmark in Australian Racing,” Mr Pearce said.

“All Stakes races will benefit from newly increased minimum prizemoney levels, and new feature races will be added to Night Racing fixtures and the Melbourne Cup Race Day at Royal Randwick.

“These prizemoney increases are just one part of the ATC’s focus and long-term strategy to grow a stronger and sustainable future for Sydney racing for decades to come.

“The ATC will continue to help fund investment into racetracks, training infrastructure and our spectator facilities, for the benefit of everyone in racing. It’s time to make Sydney racing the strongest and most competitive racing in the world.”

News from Racing NSW & ATC Joint Media Release

Winning Return for Sir Bacchus

The equal highest earning BOBS winner for the past season, consistent Sebring four year-old Sir Bacchus returned from his winter spell with a late surging victory at Rosehill on Saturday.

Given a beautiful ride by Hugh Bowman, the Chris Waller trained grey was able to overhaul the leaders and win the 1200 meter Benchmark 85 event by half a length under 59.5 kg.

“It was a well-timed ride by Hugh Bowman to say the least and the horse looks like he’s come back stronger,” Waller said.

“We’ll take him through the grades now – probably another Saturday race next start and then we might look for something better.”

A $130,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale purchase for Laurel Oak Bloodstock from the draft of Widden Stud, Sir Bacchus (pictured Steve Hart) has won five of nine starts earning over $300,000 in prizemoney.

Sir Bacchus Morphin Into Reliable Man

He was bred by David O’Keefe’s Lockyer Thoroughbreds and is the first foal of his stakes-winning Encosta de Lago mare Bacchanal Woman.

Bacchanal Woman was on-sold last year at the Inglis Broodmare Sale where she was snapped up by Goldin Farms for $340,000 and has since produced a Sepoy filly for her new owners.

News from Breednet

Rebel Dane new Missile Stakes favourite

Gary Portelli knows he is saddling up the best horse in the Missile Stakes but admits he is clueless about tactics.

The field for Saturday’s Group Two 1200m-sprint has been reduced to five with the scratchings of Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and Group One-placed Generalife because of the heavy track.

The Portelli-trained Rebel Dane is the new favourite but like his four opponents, is a horse who usually gets back in his races.

“There might be five across the track all looking at each other,” Portelli said.

“I’ll leave it up to Tommy Berry to figure it out.

“He’s the maestro and he’ll know what to do.

“It will be a battle of tactics and the best horse doesn’t always win.

“Most days the horses he’s up against would finish behind him but I respect the others and it will all come down to the way the race is run.

“He may be able to take up a spot but there’s not much I can do. It’s up to Tommy.”

The winner of the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Rebel Dane has not won another Group One race since then but has racked up several placings including a second on a heavy track to Lankan Rupee in the 2014 TJ Smith Stakes.

Rebel Dane firmed to $1.75 with the TAB on Friday with Big Money second choice at $2.90.

Godolphin trainer John O’Shea has scratched all four stable runners from the Randwick meeting with the track a heavy 10 on Friday afternoon.

But track manager Nevesh Ramdhani has no concerns about the meeting going ahead with the weather clearing and a fine day forecast for the first Saturday metropolitan program of the new season.

“The track is obviously very heavy but is not at all bottomless, so given the amount of rain at this time of year it is coping as well as can be expected,” Ramdhani said

News: Caryl Williamson

Gary Portelli Hopes Curse Rated Heavy

Rival trainer Gary Portelli concedes only the “Golden Slipper curse” can beat Capitalist in Saturday’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.

Portelli, who saddles up Group 1 winner Rebel Dane in the $175,000 feature, made the big admission on Thursday despite 24 hours of torrential rain in Sydney, which surely favours his charge.

Rebel Dane is an old fashioned mudder, with three wins and two seconds in 10 tries on wet ground.

Added to that is the fact the sprinter goes like a rocket when resuming, with four wins and three placings from eight first-up appearances.

“At the weights, I just don’t think we can beat Capitalist,” Portelli said.

“We have to hope the Golden Slipper curse works on him.”

The so called “curse” has many derivatives.

If Capitalist salutes on Saturday then he’ll be just the third Golden Slipper winner over the past decade to have won first-up in the spring.

And unless you count Dance Hero, who was three days away from turning four when he won the Missile Stakes in 2005, no three-year-old has won the race in recent history — even champion galloper Lonhro had to settle for third in 2001.

Despite speculation that Capitalist might not run on Saturday, co-trainer Paul Snowden is suggesting the colt is ideally suited at his first crack in slogging conditions.

“He gets 7kg off every horse in the race bar one,” Snowden said.

If you’re going to test a horse out in unknown conditions like these then having that kind of weight pull is surely the most ideal time.

“Yes, we’re unsure if he will cope but what options do you have — wait until next week for the San Domenico Stakes?”

Therein lies a problem as well — both historically speaking and in terms of avoiding a gut buster first-up.

Only two Slipper winners have won the San Domenico — Sir Dapper (1983) and Tierce (1991).

“Plus he’d get 60kg and what happens if the track is heavy again? Then you’re running first-up on a bog with 60kg on your back,” he said.

“If he can handle the heavy then this week’s race is definitely the better option but even if he doesn’t handle it, you could argue he’s better running this week than next with the big weight and less time to recover.”

Rebel Dane resumed on a heavy track at The Championships two years ago and finished second to Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).

“Same track and distance as this but two years ago he had a bit more acceleration,” Portelli said.

“But at least we’ve worked that out — if you watch his recent trial, he was niggled along a bit but Tommy Berry jumped off saying he kept picking up through the line.

“When he won first-up last spring, I told Brenton (jockey Brenton Avdulla) that he had to get rolling coming into the corner.

“Then first-up last time in when third in the Australia Stakes we got the tactics wrong. We tried to ride him closer to the speed and it’s just not his go.

“Basically, nowadays he takes a furlong to wind up. I’d say on Saturday we’ll be behind Capitalist in the run but we’ll be getting going around the corner.

“He’s nice and fit and ready to rumble. Win, lose or draw, Capitalist will know he’s had a run. He’s only ever raced two-year-olds, never a battle-hardened, tough, genuine weight-for-age galloper like Rebel Dane.”

Portelli has noticed a change in the son of California Dane, who turned seven on Monday.

“His times at trackwork and everything are the same but he’s 20kg heavier than he’s ever been at the same stage of his preparation,” he said.

“It’s a good thing because he’s always been a bit light and it’s been a struggle to go deep into a prep — I don’t think we will have that problem this time in.

“Hopefully being a bit fatter doesn’t compromise his first-up record.”

News: Nic Ashman, Daily Telegraph

Image: Simon Bullard

Rebel ‘Locked And Loaded’ For First-Up Missile

Rebel Dane is fighting fit ahead of his early season campaign with trainer Gary Portelli’s main worry the presence of Capitalist in the Missile Stakes.

Trainer Gary Portelli has Rebel Dane ready to go to the races but admits his early season targets will not be easy.

New jockey Tommy Berry gave Rebel Dane a work-out between races at Rosehill on Saturday to get him ready for his first-up assignment in the Missile Stakes. Saturday’s group 2 sprint will also feature the return of Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and it doesn’t get any easier after that.


Rebel Dane getting up on the outside to defeat Ball Of Muscle in the Group 2 The Shorts when first-up in September.

“He takes on Capitalist in his first start and then gets to take on Winx in the Warwick Stakes,” Portelli said. “There really aren’t any other races for him early in the season, so that’s the way it is.

“He takes on Capitalist in his first start and then gets to take on Winx in the Warwick Stakes,” Portelli said. “There really aren’t any other races for him early in the season, so that’s the way it is.

“He’s at 505 kilos which is the heaviest I’ve ever had him at the start of a preparation and is in great physical condition. I don’t think he could be any better.”

Rebel Dane covered the last 600m of Saturday’s 1000m gallop in a slick 33.07 seconds.

The winner of the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Rebel Dane is likely to go to Melbourne again this spring, with the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth also an option.

The entire has won almost $1.7 million highlighted by the Group 1 race since the Rupert Clarke.

News from Portelli Racing website

Prizemoney Increases For Highway Races

Racing NSW has today announced that prizemoney for the highly successful Highway races will be increased by 50% to $60,000 per race from $40,000.

The increased prizemoney for Highway races will commence on Saturday, 6 August 2016. The prizemoney increase maintains the position of Highway races for country participants in line with recently commenced increases in prizemoney for Country TAB racing.

“The Highway races have performed strongly since they commenced in October last year and warrant this further investment. The Highway races will now deliver $2.5 million in prizemoney annually,” said Racing NSW Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys AM.

rsz_oct_15_flash_in_the_darkThe Highway races have gathered strong support over a short period drawing together progressive country gallopers on a weekly basis.

Delivering tremendously interesting and competitive racing, the Highway races provide a much-deserved opportunity for country trainers to showcase their skills and develop their profile at the key race meeting of the week in NSW.

“The most satisfying element of the Highway races to me is seeing the thrill and excitement among owners that have runners in these races,” Mr V’landys added.

“The frequency and positioning of Highway races gives punters a feel for these horses and their form.

“I’m also delighted that in the past month, three Highway race winners have progressed to win Saturday benchmark races. This must give country trainers a shot of confidence that they can be competitive in races when they come to Sydney,” Mr V’landys concluded.

News from Racing NSW

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.”

New from Brent Zerafa,

Another top class effort by All My Loving

Not having had a run for five weeks, gallant five-year-old mare All My Loving produced another very good effort to finish third on Tuesday at Gosford, further contributing further funds to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

With 10 per cent of her earnings going to the Breast Cancer Foundation, the Gary Portelli-trained All My Loving (Not A Single Doubt) jumped from the outside barrier in the Spar Express Benchmark 63 Handicap over 2100m at Gosford.

All My Loving glitterPulled back by jockey Grant Buckley to settle in second last position, Statue Of Liberty gelding Slade Amigos had the lead narrowly from Anthony Cumming’s Maven Wiz in second.

A mid-race move saw Wedding Kiss to come from third last to race around the field to sit outside the leader, the pace appeared to quicken as All My Loving found herself in second last position, many lengths from the leader.

At the 800m mark, the runs started to come and Maven Wiz came off the back of Wedding Kiss to commence his run, as did Rightoncue and Baroque Girl, while Buckley and All My Loving didn’t have a lot of options just yet but to follows these runners forward.

Tye Angland urged Maven Wiz to the lead just before the turn after fighting off Slade Amigos to his inside, while Baroque Girl and All My Loving were starting to make ground.

The widest into the final turn, All My Loving looked to slightly struggle but just needed time to balance up once into the straight and once she did, worked home very well to finish in third, just under three lengths from the winner.

With 27 top five placed performances from her 35 starts, the Laurel Oak Rose (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Jalana (Mgr: D Gremmo), A N Fitzgerald, L J Carpenter, Mrs K A Carpenter, Ms K L Benson, Mrs S L Grant, S James, S E Johnston, Mrs P Hunter-Knight, Mrs J C McAuliffe, Mrs V Racovalis, Ms A Kung, Mrs C A Mathieson, Mrs R C Fitzgerald, G M Fitzgerald and L A Brennan-owned mare has been a favourite of the team, not only for her honesty and consistency, but for the funds she has been able to contribute to such a worthy cause.

Great sectionals for Wide Acclaim on return

Ending his previous campaign with a third behind Southern Legend at Rosehill, with that winner going on to claim a stakes race during The Championships, the Gary Portelli-trained Wide Acclaim resumed on Saturday at Rosehill.

Settling last after being slightly slowly away from the outside barrier, For Me Dad went to the early lead and ensured some good speed upfront, with the leading filly chasing four consecutive wins.

Running in second was the talented Matt Dale-trained Bitburg, while race favourite Speith was traveling in third last position on the rail.

Charging into the final bend, Wide Acclaim was still towards the tail of the field but jockey Samantha Clenton was urging the son of Congrats to the outside to make up some ground.

WIDE ACCLAIM_LEX5175With the Arrowfield silks aboard King’s Troop getting up along the rail, favourite Spieth was still searching for some room, but when it presented itself, the talented son of Thorn Park charged to the line to record a very nice win.

While yet to record black type, the connections of Spieth obviously feel the colt has plenty of potential as evident by his start in the Group 2 Arrowfield 3yo Sprint during The Championships, where he finished down the track behind Group 1 performers Japonisme and Counterattack.

Although beaten into fourth position, the run of “Harry” was very good and what further highlights this is that only two horses on the day where able to break 36 secs for their final 400m sectional – those two being the winner Spieth and Wide Acclaim, with our boy recording 32.9. – click here to veie race.

We are really looking forward to Wide Acclaim stepping out next start and with plenty of BOBS prizemoney opportunities over the coming months, fingers crossed we can play a part in that also!

Third victory for Better Land

Having his third start for new trainer Darren Weir, four-year-old Shamardal entire Better Land produced the goods in the final race of the day at Sportsbet Ballarat on Wednesday, taking the prize in the Hygain Benchmark 70 Handicap (1400m).

A length and a half third at his most recent run behind Edgewood and Decoupez on a Heavy 10 surface over the 1400m at Warrnambool, jockey Brad Rawiller eased Better Land from an outside gate, settling with only one behind him.

Racing slightly ungenerously in parts, Rawiller let Better Land slide forward a while before home turn, but still had many lengths to make up.

As Elite Tiger and Corporate Takeover cornered into the home straight in front, Better Land was the widest runner of the field, but was starting to make up ground.

Starting the short-priced favourite in the 10 horse field, Better Land knuckled down to chase Elite Tiger who had now skipped a few lengths clear.

Charging really strongly to the leader, Better Land took the win by a nose, and although narrowly, it was great to see another win on the board for fellow owners; R A Pegum, Laurel Oak Shamrock (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Ramsey Pastoral Company Pty Ltd (Mgr: S B Ramsey), D J Tamblyn, R S Willis, Mrs J M Tamblyn, D J Tamblyn, R V 8 (Mgr: R V Dulhunty), M R Tudehope, B N E Hastie, M J Forsdick, A N Fitzgerald, Rdfit Pty Ltd (Mgr: S C Cook) and A W Reichard.

Better Land Capture

Click above image to view Better Land’s victory

Having showed immense talent early on as evident by his three length debut win and his stakes performance behind Scissor Kick in the Listed The Rosebud and the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes, Better Land has been somewhat of an enigma, but now that he has broken through for another win, fingers crossed that he continues on with it.

Rip Van Winkle filly produces impressive winning Silhouette

While many owners would be frustrated that it took until the seventh start for their runner to break their maiden, but all was pushed aside on Sunday when Red Silhouette recorded an impressive three length victory at Park in the R & C Asphalt Paving Maiden Plate.

Ridden by Michael Dee, the three-year-old filly jumped away cleanly from the middle of the line where she traveled forward to settle in fourth on the outside of the slightly erratic Vanilla Ice Cream.

Outsider Forrest Boy took up the leading position with short price favourite St Rumon on his outside appearing to get the run of the race.

Dropping back a little, Dash For Dee and Violet Fluture went around Red Silhouette but Dee didn’t appear to panic, although needing a gap was going to be his main priority.

As the leader started to weaken and St Rumon was urged to the lead, Dash For Dee started to make a challenge, but it was evident that Red Silhouette was going to play a part in the finish as the filly started to make up ground down the outside to look a leading chance.

Sprinting to the lead, the Tony Noonan-trained filly cleared out to record an impressive three length victory over Distant Sky, with a further half-length back to Dash For Dee. Click the below image to view the win.

Red Silhoutte image

Purchased from the draft of Curraghmore Stud at the 2014 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, Red Silhouette is the first out of the Listed winning More Than Ready mare Floramour, herself a winner of five.

Interestingly, trainer Tony Noonan secured the second foal from the mare a year later, a colt by Jimmy Choux who was left in New Zealand to do his early racing, where the colt was named Manolo Blahniq and went on to record success in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes earlier this year.

Special congratulations to the winning connections of Red Silhouette – Laurel Oak Bloodstock P/L (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Grant Bloodstock P/L (Mgr: S P Grant), A N Fitzgerald, Boeara Holdings (Mgr: Mrs D A Dunphy), Rdfit P/L (Mgr: S C Cook), P L Nottage, M K J Strassmeir, Mrs L J Strassmeir, Dr T P Clarke, Mrs C A McHugh, P J Peters, Laurel Oak Club Number Two and A Kustron.

Horse of the Week: Sir Bacchus

Those that study sectional times will have noticed a few impressive performances on the weekend, but none more so than Waller’s grey swooper. The son of Sebring was stuck in traffic near the back one second and screaming home for a dominant win the next.

His relentless surge to the line gets him the prize of Horse of the Week.

Breeding: Sired by Sebring, from Bacchanal Woman (Sire of Dam, Encosta De Lago)

Type: Three year old grey/chestnut Gelding born 21/09/2012

Features: Sprint & Finishing Surge

Weaknesses: Prefers Galloping Room

Record: 4 wins, 1 second from 7 starts. Total Prize-money of $257,725

Career Wins
•07/5/16 – McGrath Estate Agents at Rosehill over 1200m – Jockey R Hutchings
•23/4/16 – Hyland Race Colours at Rosehill over 1200m – Jockey J R Collett
•26/12/15 – McGrath Estate Agents at Randwick over 1200m – Jockey R Hutchings
•11/12/15 – Tab More Than Just Winning Mdn at Canterbury over 1100m – Jockey R Hutchings

Quick Facts
•Purchased at the 2014 MM National Yearling Sale Select Session for $130,000
•His dam Bacchanal Woman was a Listed level winner at Canberra
•He’s off to the Fred Best Classic at Doomben to try and qualify for the AAMI Stradbroke Handicap
•Not a horse that enjoys tight spots, it will be interesting to see how he handles the big handicaps up north


Story: The Race Guide

Bacchus Simply Sensational At Rosehill

Waller and Hutchings then combined in the following race, the McGrath Estate Agents Bm77 Handicap (1200m), with Sir Bacchus. The Sebring three-year-old gelding stormed down the outside with 59kg to win his second race in succession.

Sir Bacchus will make presence felt in Queensland winter. Picture Simon BullardThe win looked unlikely at the 300m with Lucky Fish (carried 52.5kg) and apprentice James Innes out to a good lead and Sir Bacchus not making ground. However Hutchings quickly reversed that impression and the grey charged at the leader and swept past for a 1 1/2L winning margin and a new class record time of 1.09.67.

Lucky Fish (Exceed And Excel) was second with a further 1 1/2L to Sampeah (Exceed Ad Excel) (59kg) and Mitchell Bell in third.

“He needed to be a good horse to win from where he was,” said Waller. “He is an immature horse who is still learning his trade.”

The next step in that learning curve will be, like his stablemate Encosta Line, a trip to Brisbane and in his case for the Group 3 Fred best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 21st. The winner of that race gains a start in the $1.5m, Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) with Waller commenting that the stable and connections can ‘dream’.

Sir Bacchus, out of the Encosta de Lago mare Bacchanal Woman, is owned by a large group including Laurel Oak Bacchus, Boeara Holdings, Mr F W Cook, Grant Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Dirty Grey, Mr K R Lowe, Mrs M P Lowe, Mr A W Reichard, Mr J T O’Brien, Club Bacchus, Mr M W Powell, Mr N Macdonald, Mrs R H Richards, Mrs C M Cook and Mrs E K Grant and they celebrated accordingly after their win. Their runner has earned them stakes of $237,725 plus a $20,000 BOBS bonus.

News from Thoroughbred News

Images: Simon Bullard, Daily Telegraph

All guns blazing at Texas Rebel fires winning shot at Randwick

He’s the younger brother of a Group 1 winner who speaks the same language, albeit with a southern accent.

Texas Rebel, a half-brother to Rebel Dane, broke through for his first career win with victory in race three (1400m) at Randwick on Anzac day.

“He’s always shown he’s going to get there eventually,” trainer Gary Portelli told

“He’s a big, lean horse and he’s just starting to fill up his frame.”

Texas Rebel April 25 win

With the same trainer, the same looks and wearing the same silks as Rebel Dane, the three-year-old son of Texarcana scooted up the rail to just hold off Go Benny ($6.10), with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Red Knot ($2.30 favourite) in third.

“He obviously doesn’t have the turn of foot of his brother but he’s only won by a head today and hopefully he keeps the trend up,” Portelli said.

“He actually came in last time and I wasn’t happy with him so I tipped him out again. He came in for this preparation and he’s stronger, but he’s still not there yet. He’s a long way from being where I think he’s going to be in six months, 12 months time.

“He’s a big jumping type, he’s got a fantastic attitude and he’s a lovely horse to train, and great to see the colours back up and winning again.”

Having jumped from gate four, the colt was given a smart ride from Travis Wolfgram, who took advantage of the rail being out 12 metres.

“His last few starts he’s drawn bad and we’ve gone back on him,” Wolfgram said.

“Everyone’s been scouting a bit wider so the inside was a bit untouched and being the first go at the 1400m, I needed to cover him the best I could.”

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Brisbane carnival beckons for Sir Bacchus after runaway win at Rosehill

Underrated three-year-old Sir Bacchus may get the opportunity of a Brisbane winter carnival campaign after thrashing his rivals first-up at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

The Chris Waller-trained grey won back-to-back races at Canterbury and Randwick in December, prompting a belated bid for the $1m Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast on January 10.

Sadly for his horde of owners, about 60, Sir Bacchus was below his best and finished well down the order and was sent for a well earned break.

Sir Bacchus 1 Simon Bullard

The son of Sebring has clearly benefited from his time away from racing after yesterday’s 2½-length win after a heady ride by Jason Collett.

Collett snagged Sir Bacchus ($6.50) back to last early before making the bold decision to pin his hopes along the rails rather than come around them.

Sir Bacchus sprinted quickly passing the 300m streaking away with stablemate So Willie ($41) making ground from the back to take second just ahead of Dark Steel ($6.50).

Odds-on favourite Reincarnate had the run of the race but couldn’t add to his sequence of three straight wins and finished a disappointing fourth.

Sir Bacchus 2 Simon Bullard

Winning jockey Collett who walked the track before the first race prepared for all contingencies but not locked into a plan.

“I just sort of had an open mind as to where I’d be in the run and as to where I’d come down the straight,’’ Collett said. “Once I gave him that rein, he was off and gone and made it look easy.’’

With Waller on holidays, deputy Charlie Duckworth said the manner of Sir Bacchus’ win was enough to consider a trip away this winter. “It was very impressive,’’ Duckworth said. “He put them away with relative ease so hopefully he’ll progress up to Queensland.’’

Sir Bacchus returned to his huge team of happy owners brought together by well known syndicator Louis Mihalyka of Rebel Dame fame.

“There are about 60 people in Sir Bacchus,’’ Mihalyka said. “There are a couple of syndicates, of them only goes into grey coloured horses; they call themselves the Dirty Greys.’’

News: Shayne O’Cass, The Daily Telegraph

Images: Simon Bullard

Bacchus blows them away in Rosehill opener


In the small seven horse field, the John O’Shea-trained Medaglia d’Oro gelding Reincarnate, a winner of his last three starts started the clear $2.00 favourite in the $85,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap over 1200m.

As misty rain fell on the good 4 track, In Her Time (Time Thief), the lone filly in the field flew the gates and went forward to take up the lead very comfortably from Wudang Mountain and Dark Steel who came along the rail to take up third.

Race favourite Reincarnate settled in fourth on the outside with Chris Waller’s Sir Bacchus, who was resuming from a break after a last start run in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the Gold Coast, settle in last position.

Surprisingly off the pace, in comparison to his last start where he lead, Reincarnate began to track wide rounding the turn as his jockey James McDonald started to urged the three-year-old along.

At the 300m mark, Dark Steel had come along the inside of the runners to take up the lead momentarily before Jason Collett on Sir Bacchus drive the son of Sebring along the rail to hit to the front.

Surging clear, the grey pulled away to record a two and a half-length victory over stablemate So Willie (More Than Ready) in a time of 1.10.54 on the Good 4 rated track surface.

Holding on for third was the Gai Waterhouse-trained Dark Steel (Redoute’s Choice), with favourite Reincarnate back in fourth.

Starting $6.40 on the NSW TAB and $6.00 on fixed odds betting Sir Bacchus now has three wins and a place from six starts, for owners Laurel Oak Bacchus (Mgr: L J Mihalyka) F Cook, K Lowe, Mrs M Lowe, Club Bacchus (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Dirty Grey (Mgr: M Mulligan), A Reichard, J O’Brien, Grant Bloodstock (Mgr: S Grant), M Powell, N Macdonald, Mrs R Richards, Mrs C Cook, Mrs E Grant and Boeara Holdings (Mgr: Mrs D Dunphy), with the victory taking his career earnings to $188,975.

Likely to form part of Chris Waller’s arsenal for the Brisbane winter Carnival, stable representative Charlie Duckworth was on hand to discuss the victory with Waller currently enjoying a well-deserved holiday.

“He was very impressive,” stated Duckworth.

“Obviously he had a great prep last prep and he ran well in the Magic Millions Guineas.

“Resuming today it was a dominant performance.

“He has always run well fresh and he today he put them away with relative ease so hopefully he’ll progress up to Queensland.”

When asked about a trip to the Queensland carnival, Duckworth felt the win was enough to see him on the float.

“I would have thought that would be enough,” stated Duckworth.

Jockey Jason Collett who wasn’t tied down to an specific riding instruction, produced a perfect effort to take the win.

“I kept an open mind on where I’d be in the run and sort of where I’d come down the straight,” stated Collett.

“I had a walk of the track before the first and the obvious two strips on the inner aren’t probably the best, but the way he was travelling, he made it look easy.

“Once I gave him more reign he was off and gone.”

News: Dane Squance for ThoroughbredNews

Image: Sportpix

Rebel Dane to cause upset in 2016 All Aged Stakes Field

His jockey is suddenly out of luck and his horse continues to be out of favour.

There are obviously better angles from which Louis Mihalyka can approach a major race, but it’s not enough to stop Rebel Dane’s managing owner from making a case for a Group One upset in the All Aged Stakes.

Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s Mihalyka says Rebel Dane deserves a break at Group One level after toiling away from indifferent barrier draws for most of the autumn.

The same can also be said for Rebel Dane’s jockey Jason Collett.

Collett was going to ride the odds-on favourite Yankee Rose in the Champagne Stakes as he chases his first Group One win.

Getting back on Rebel Dane for the first time since the 2013 Randwick Guineas was an unexpected add-on to his day at Randwick.


But in light of Yankee Rose’s scratching from the Champagne, Collett’s All Aged Stakes outsider has become an all-or-nothing Group One ride for him as the Sydney autumn carnival draws to a close.

And while Australia’s studs seem to have given up on Rebel Dane as a stallion prospect, Mihalyka is keeping the faith.

“The horse is fine, well and healthy and racing in good form theoretically, but he’s just not getting the opportunity to figure at the pointy end,” he said.

“Barriers have cost him in the Futurity (Stakes), the Galaxy when he was back and had no hope and then he drew the outside gate in the TJ Smith and was four and five wide throughout.”

“He’s not as good as the Chautauquas of this world. He needs to have barrier advantage to compete against them. Not disadvantage.”

Just as high-profile stablemates Press Statement and Kermadec will be out to impress for an overseas campaign, Mihalyka said Rebel Dane needed to win another Group One race to revive his prospects of a commercial career at stud.

“There was far more interest 18 months ago,” he said.

“The fact that he hasn’t won a Group One race since the Rupert Clarke (Stakes) for two years, that sort of nipped things in the bud.

“He needs to go and ram it down their throats with another Group One win and he just hasn’t been able to do that.”

Rebel Dane will be contesting his third All Aged Stakes and was sent out favourite to win two years ago for Glen Boss.

He is unwanted as a $26 chance on Saturday as the next crop of Australia’s young sprinters come through with Press Statement favourite to beat fellow three-year-old English and the talented four-year-old Malaguerra.

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Jason Collett and Rebel Dane in Group 1 reunion

Gary Portelli will turn to the jockey who has won more races on Rebel Dane than any other in a bid to salvage something out of a frustrating autumn campaign.

Jason Collett will be reunited with Rebel Dane in the $600,000 All Aged Stakes on Saturday – more than three years after he lost the ride when the $1.6 million earner missed out as favourite in the 2013 Randwick Guineas.

“We started off with Jason and we’re hoping the combination can kick us back into the winning form he used to be in,” Portelli said.

Collett linked with Rebel Dane when the sprinter made a winning debut at the midweeks and he steered the three-year-old through two more wins during the 2012 spring.

The association resumed where it left off with a first-up success in the Royal Sovereign Stakes (below) but it came to an end two starts later when Rebel Dane was beaten into fourth place behind It’s A Dundeel in the Randwick Guineas.

Portelli is adamant the autumn hasn’t worked out as it should because of difficult barrier draws, although he is thankful a throat operation has allowed Rebel Dane to have an extended preparation.

“Hopefully we can finally draw a good gate because the horse is in absolutely superb order,” Portelli said.

“It’s been a bit of a disastrous preparation as far as barriers go, but I don’t think I’ve ever had him this far into a preparation looking so well.”

In his past three Group One appearances, Rebel Dane has drawn eight of 11 in the Futurity Stakes, 13 of 14 in The Galaxy and the outside gate in a field of 15 in the TJ Smith Stakes.

“In the TJ Smith we drew 15 and we thought we’d go forward and try to get into a good spot. We never got closer than six off the fence,” Portelli said.

Rebel Dane wound up midfield in the TJ Smith, finishing 5-1/2 lengths from the winner Chautauqua.

There has been an early move for Rebel Dane in all-in betting on the All Aged, with bookmakers trimming the sprinter’s odds from $26 to $17.

Rebel D4

News from AAP.

Seventh Heaven at Inglis Easter As Laurel Oak Bloodstock Secures Seven

In what was a strong market for the top lots, and slightly down for the session two horses, Laurel Oak Bloodstock were fortunate enough to secure seven yearlings for clients.

The first purchase for Laurel Oak Bloodstock was from the draft of the Kelly’s Newhaven Park as Lot 150, a filly by Sebring, a stallion destined for Champion honours in the future we feel.

Lot 159 yearling LOB 120k
The filly is out of the Commands mare Absolutely Flying, herself a half-sister to stakes winning juvenile Camporella (Exceed And Excel), both daughters of the Listed winning Really Flying. It is also the family of Group 1 winners Fair King Prawn and Easy Rocking.

As the sire of Horse of the Year Dissident and the four-time Group 1 winner Criterion, the Widden Stud based Sebring is a stallion we have a lot of time for and are keen to purchase his progeny. On the other hand, Commands as a broodmare sire has been represented by six stakes winners to date – two being Group 1 winners; Politeness and Contentment.

Next up it was Lot 176 from the draft of Edinglassie Stud, a brown Sepoy colt out the Group 2-winning juvenile Amelia’s Dream, who we never got to see the best of due to injury.

Lot 176 yearling LOB 225k
A half-brother to the Laurel Oak Bloodstock part-owned Better Land, a multiple stakes performer, this colt is by a Golden Slipper winner out of a mare who was favourite for the Golden Slipper before being injured – hence he has extreme stallion appeal if he can live up to his pedigree and good looks!

To date, while Sepoy has not hit the heights everyone has expected, his most impressive winner is the Laurel Oak Bloodstock bred and sold She’s Positive.

Milburn Creek were the vendors of our next purchase, Lot 190, a filly by Sepoy out of the speedy, Listed-winning Exceed And Excel mare Baby Corn, herself a daughter of the Group 3 winner Sweet Corn.

Lot 190 yearling LOB 370k
Bred to be very much a two-year-old prospect, the mare has already produced the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes and Group 1 Blue Diamond placegetter Cornrow.

Exceed And Excel as a broodmare sire has produced 11 stakes winners so far highlighted by the Group 1 winner Bounding as well as this season’s stakes-winning juvenile Scarlet Rain and Astern.

Going back to back, purchasing another Sepoy filly, Lot 191 was from the draft of Widden Stud.

Lot 191 yearling LOB 230k
The second living foal of the Listed-winning Encosta de Lago mare Bacchanal Woman, the filly is a half-sister to Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s very promising Sir Bacchus who has had two wins and a third from five starts and looks set to resume in the coming weeks for trainer Chris Waller, who was very keen to put his hand up to train this filly.

She was a much admired filly with Peter Snowden being the under bidder on this filly to buy for himself while trainer Joe Pride was also very keen to get his hand on the filly.

While having to wait quite a while for our next purchase, it was worth the wait as Lot 459 found its way to Laurel Oak Bloodstock.

Lot 459 yearling 70k
From the second crop of Fastnet Rock’s Group 1-winning son Foxwedge, the colt was our second purchase from the draft of Newhaven Park.

The second foal out of the winning Tale Of The Cat mare Angel Of Avalon, the first foal of the mare is a smart winning juvenile Fox Tales, a full-brother to this colt.

Offered as part of the Middlebrook Valley Lodge draft, the Pluck filly is out of the stakes placed Danehill mare Danasierra, herself a full-sister to the multiple Group 1 winner and Champion mare Dane Ripper, who are in turn both daughters of the Group 1 winner Red Express.

Bred on a similar cross to the one that has produced Group 1 winners Benicio, More Than Sacred, Perfectly Ready and Dreamaway, Lot 483 is from the second crop of More Than Ready’s Group 2-winning son who has only been represented by one crop of runners to date in the southern hemisphere, highlighted by the smart Gasoline, a stakes placegetter in New Zealand, who was interestingly bred and sold by the same vendor as out filly.

Lot 483 yearling LOB 60k
The final purchase of the sale came towards the close of business as we secured another Sepoy to complete our seven purchases.

From the draft of Goodwood Farm, Lot 568 was bred by a Laurel Oak breeding syndicate, just like recent Magic Millions Adelaide winner She’s Positive and Group 2 winner Maygrove, and we just couldn’t let the colt go unwanted in the ring.

Lot 568 yearling LOB
While he may take a little time to strength and mature, he is by Sepoy, out of the Laurel Oak Bloodstock-raced Grand Lodge mare Soul Diva, a winner of 11 races as well as being a Group 2 placegetter.

The pedigree for each purchase can be viewed by clicking the ‘Lot’ number and if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the office on

Gary Portelli bids for hometown joy with All My Loving

Gary Portelli will have overwhelming support from the locals in Friday’s Orange Cup as he prepares to head back to where it all began.

Gary and Louis - All My Loving

Portelli has the Laurel Oaks purchased and syndicated All My Loving primed for what would be the trainer’s second Orange Cup victory, having teamed up with now SKY Racing presenter Bernadette Cooper to win the 2002 feature.

“I grew up in Sydney but Orange was where I first started training,’’ Portelli said.

“We went out there after I finished high school and my mother started training there and eventually I took over. I won the Orange Cup with Kalalycia (in 2002) who ran a track record and it’s also where Charlie Bub had his first start as a two-year-old. He won by 10-lengths and went faster than the open sprinters on the day then he came out and ran third to Choisir at his next start at Canterbury in the Skyline.

“The town is like a smaller version of Parramatta now. It’s a very commercialised place — it’s changed. I’ve got a lot of mates back there and a few other owners that have stuck by me since I’ve been down there so I’ve got some good memories of the place.’’

Portelli’s intimate knowledge of the Orange circuit could very well provide the key to victory for All My Loving who will have no problems running out the 2100m of Friday’s race having won all the way up to a mile and a half.

She’s been rock solid in her two runs since runs since winning at Goulburn in February and comes off a credible 2.9-lens fourth at home at Warwick Farm over the 2400m.

“She is a very honest mare and just goes out every week picking up prizemoney for her owners and this looks a nice for her,’’ Portelli said. “The 2100m at Orange is a tough 2100m, there is a bit of a hill involved.

All My Loving glitter

“They just start to climb from about the 1000m onwards and it gets a bit serious at the 500m so it’s not a place for the faint hearted, you have to be a horse than can run out a trip so back from 2400m to 2100m won’t be a problem.’’

Portelli has accepted with All My Loving for a race at Beaumont on Saturday but is only too pleased to be headed west, not north in the float a day earlier.

“We wanted to weigh up the two races — I thought she was probably a little bit badly weighted among some of the horses there at Orange but after weighing it all up, I think she’s actually not that badly weighted and is a good chance,’’ he said.

News from Shayne O’Cass, Daily Telegraph