Rebel Dane wasn’t out to smash the clock or even win Monday’s Rosehill barrier trial, but more to allow Gary Portelli to trial a cross over nose band on his Doomben 10,000 aspirant.

Portelli was pleased with the outcome that allowed Rebel Dane, which finished fifth behind Japanese mare Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick on April 26, to settle and relax and, importantly, finish off his gallop.

With Glen Boss unavailable, Kerrin McEvoy rode Rebel Dane in his trial and deliberately rode him conservatively early in a bid to help him relax.

Rebel Dane finished off his trial well to finish second, but for Portelli the most pleasing aspect was that the cross over noseband appeared to work.


“It was a very easy trial, but he ran super,” Portelli said.

“The cross over noseband worked beautifully. Kerrin put him to sleep behind them, eased him to the outside in the straight, gave him a little squeeze and he quickened up nicely.”

Portelli said there is no problem with Rebel Dane relaxing if he gets cover in his races, but he didn’t want the situation to arise if the horse drew wide in the Group 1 and he hadn’t planned for it.

He said the gear change would just help Rebel Dane relax if the barrier gods were against him in the Doomben 10,000.

Rebel Dane is a $4.50 second favorite for the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 24 with Sportsbet with Buffering as the $4 favourite.

To view footage of today’s trial click here.

News from TVN.

Rebel Dane will be tested in a crossover nose band in a Rosehill barrier trial before he heads north for his Doomben 10,000 assignment.

The Gary Portelli-trained four-year-old opened his Group One account in the spring with victory in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.

Portelli deliberately avoided racing Rebel Dane early in the autumn with the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes his first-up target.

By the time the race came around last month, Australia was hailing a new sprint champion and Lankan Rupee lived up to the tag.

Rebel Dane got closest to him, finishing two lengths away, and started favourite in the All Aged Stakes.

But the tough TJ run on a wet track appeared to have taken a toll with Rebel Dane failing to show his normal sprint, finishing fifth, 3-1/4 lengths from victorious Japanese mare Hana’s Goal.

Kerrin McEvoy will partner Rebel Dane in Monday’s 1030m trial with race jockey Glen Boss unable to arrange travel from Melbourne after riding at Sandown on Sunday.

The crossover nose band is used to stop a horse opening its mouth during a race and Portelli will decide after the trial whether it goes on for the Group One Doomben 10,000 on May 24.

Buffering, who finished third in the TJ Smith and third again in Saturday’s BTC Cup, also felt the effects of the wet track run.

Despite that Buffering and Rebel Dane are the equal $4 favourites to improve at Doomben ahead of Spirit Of Boom, second to Famous Seamus in the BTC Cup, at $5.

Famous Seamus is a $9 chance and the only other contender under double figures.

Taken from AAP Megaform.


Gary Portelli has confirmed that smart sprinter Rebel Dane (California Dane-Texarcana, by More Than Ready) will line up in the Gr1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday, reports

Rebel Dane resumed with an excellent second behind Lankan Rupee in the Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday week, closing to within two lengths of him on the heavy track.

However, the effort took its toll with Portelli admitting he had his doubts about the 4YO running in Saturday’s feature. “He proved he was versatile and can run on all kinds of tracks but the TJ did take it out of him,” Portelli said.

“The morning after he didn’t eat his breakfast. He was fine but he just seemed very tired.” He added, “On that Sunday I was doubtful if we would be running in the All Aged but he picked up very quickly. He was very fit before that race and had plenty of miles in him so that helped him recover.”

Rebel Dane is one of 16 entries for the All Aged along with Japanese mare Hana’s Goal who has stayed in Australia following her eye-catching sixth in the Doncaster Mile. She will be ridden by Nash Rawiller, while Glen Boss stays with Rebel Dane, who heads to Brisbane after Saturday.

“I think the Doomben 10,000 is the ideal race for him,” Portelli said. “We will leave the BTC Cup to Buffering and we can beat him at Doomben. I was proud of the way Rebel Dane got past Buffering in the TJ. Not many horses can do that.”

To view the final field for Saturday’s G1 All Aged Stakes,click here.

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The story of Gary Portelli and Rebel Dane goes much deeper than one trainer with a bloody good horse. They represent a great Australian racing story of the tremendous relationship that can develop between owner and trainer, between trainer and horse.

Rebel Dane was bred by Laurel Oak Bloodstock, as was Rebel Dane’s dam Texarcana, trained by Portelli to win three races. Texarcana’s dam Cottonfields, again bred by Laurel Oak, was unraced, but some of Rebel Dane’s current owners also raced Rebel Dane’s great grandmother, Georgian Gold, winner of five races.

Having intimate knowledge of a horse’s family can often help a trainer, but in the case of Rebel Dane, Portelli admits that at first, it may have hampered him. Having trained his dam Texarcana, who was a 2,000m plus horse through and through, Portelli thought that he had a potential Cox Plate horse on his hands when the young Rebel Dane entered his yard. The colt started favorite for last year’s Randwick Guineas but failed over the mile trip.

On paper, Rebel Dane defies his pedigree in many ways. There is only one other Stakes winner within the first four generations of his maternal family – the Listed winner Bold Tie, a son of Rebel Dane’s fourth dam Georgian Knot, who herself was unplaced from three starts.

While Portelli says that Rebel Dane’s dam Texarcana had “a lot of ability”, she never reached her full potential on the track following a bad neck injury that resulted from clipping heels with another horse during a race.

It seems that Rebel Dane’s preference and ability over the sprinting trips is influenced by his broodmare sire More Than Ready, the sire of Texarcana. A highly successful sire with sixty-four individual Stakes winners to-date, More Than Ready was a Group One winner in the US over seven furlongs (approx.1,400m). As a broodmare sire More Than Ready is passing on this sprinting speed – his daughters having also produced the Group One winning sprinters Atlante and Miracles of Life.

Rebel Dane’s sire California Dane also excelled over shorter trips – he is the winner of two Group Two races over 1,000m and 1,200m. Again though it is a case of Rebel Dane out-performing his pedigree – California Dane’s only other Stakes winners are the Listed-winning Lake Sententia and Fire Thunderbolt.

Beaten into second place two lengths behind the world’s top rated sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes last Saturday, Portelli is now aiming Rebel Dane at the All Aged Stakes Saturday week, stepping the colt back up in distance to 1,400m – the same distance as the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes won by Rebel Dane last year.

Rebel Dane is likely to improve from this first up run, having twice before won second time up for his trainer. Lankan Rupee is out of the equation, having gone to the paddock for a spell, while Zoustar’s next racecourse appearance is likely to be in England. Rebel Dane’s main rivals in the coming months will most likely be Buffering, who finished two lengths behind him in the TJ Smith, and Snitzerland. The BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000 in Brisbane are possible targets for this trio. Portelli will tell you that Rebel Dane is the best he has ever trained. However he considers Gold Trail to be his best training achievement.

A Group Two horse in reality – Portelli trained him to many Stakes successes in Australia, plus the Group One Railway Stakes in New Zealand. He traveled to Singapore for the Group One Krisflyer International Sprint, finishing a creditable fourth.

Portelli was invited to travel to Royal Ascot with the gelding. Gold Trail gave Portelli and his team the opportunity to travel the world to some of the best sprinting races around, an accomplishment that Portelli is extremely proud of.

Portelli also holds a soft spot for Forest Express – his very first Group winner. However there is another horse that is surely up there with Gold Trail and Rebel Dane when it comes to the trainer’s greatest achievements, and that is Marwin Gold.

A $7,000 yearling, Portelli trained Marwin Gold to win twenty races and place eighteen times, with over $600,000 in earnings. Marwin Gold won on his eighty-fifth, and final start, aged eleven.

Portelli likes to source all his horses as yearlings and is involved in the selection of every horse that walks through his gate. With thirty five horses in work at present, in recent years Gary has been concentrating on keeping his numbers between thirty and forty. By keeping his numbers small, Portelli has a very close relationship with his owners (Elite Thoroughbreds and Laurel Oak Bloodstock have been great supporters of his), the horses themselves – he knows exactly what every horse is fed – and because he has been involved in the selection of all the horses, he takes it personally “if they don’t turn out any good”. Portelli helps Adrian Alan of Elite Thoroughbreds with his yearling selections and Gary says his preference to buy yearlings over tried horses is so that he can put the time into educating the youngsters – giving them every possible chance to succeed.

Looking to the future with Rebel Dane, Portelli’s plan with him is to keep him in Australia, to keep him sound and to keep him racing. Although he is a colt, because of having what many would consider an unfashionable pedigree, there is no pressure on Portelli to travel abroad to help boost Rebel Dane’s value as a future stallion. Instead, Rebel Dane’s owners are happy to continue to see their star colt run on home soil.

Rebel Dane’s story started at least three generations ago with a dedicated group of owners wanting to breed and race their own horses. In Gary Portelli they found a trainer who has helped this become a reality. Gary’s philosophy of ensuring that every horse gets the individual attention that they deserve, whose ambition to be involved with every one of his horses, right through from when they are ‘kids’, all the way through to the end of their careers, is one of the hallmarks of Gary Portelli’s success as a trainer. Speaking with the man, you get a genuine sense not only of the care and commitment he has for his horses, but also for his owners and staff. Gary Portelli, Rebel Dane, and this wonderful group of owners represent all that is great about Australian racing.

Having no luck during the sale, it wasn’t until the day after the sale that Laurel Oak were able to secure a share in Lot 419: Northern Meteor x Dual Diamond, by Redoute’s Choice filly.

Purchased by trainer Anthony Cummings for $300,000, Laurel Oak discovered the following day that he had a share available and we snapped up the 30% Share on offer.

Bred on the same Northern Meteor x Redoute’s Choice cross as multiple Group One winner Zoustar, this filly was offered by Luskin Park Stud, the same farm who bred and sold Group One winner Foxwedge.

Dual Diamond has had one runner to the track for the stakes placed Dual Star (Starcraft). The Second Dam of this filly is the Group One Blue Diamond winner True Jewels, who is herself a half-sister to the Group Two-winning, multiple Group One placed Wager.

To view the pedigree of the filly, click here.

Lot 419 1

Lot 419 2

While neither where victorious, both performed extremely well to record Group One placed efforts for their respective Laurel Oak Breeding Syndicates.

Having finished second last time out to the All American colt Bachmann in the Group Three The Schweppervescence over 1400m, two-year-old Snitzel colt Scratch Me Lucky went to the Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes on Saturday and finished an excellent second behind the filly Peggy Jean.

Bred by in partnership between Ramsey Pastoral Co Pty Ltd and Laurel Oak Bloodstock, Scratch Me Lucky (pictured below) is out of stakes performed Success Express mare Radiant Star, who Laurel Oak also part-owned and raced during her career.

Sold to trainer Paul Perry for $240,000 at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale, we congratulate the connections; G S Heber, Mrs P A Heber, Ms K Heber, Mrs Y C Pellegrino & P M Perry, on their exciting colt who has already earned back his purchase price.

Scratch Me Lucky is now likely to head to the third leg of the two-year-old Triple Crown, the Group One Champagne Stakes

The other success for Laurel Oak as a Breeding Syndicate during the day is the much talked about second placed effort by Rebel Dane in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes.

The effort on the extremely heavy track to the career earnings for the four-year-old past $1.2 million and owners; Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), J V Murphy, P M Kite, Lanista Thoroughbreds (Mgr: S C Cook), M W Powell, C J Baker, Pardon (Mgr: K G Sheppard), S J Lindley, Simpson-Morgan (Mgr: G M Simpson-Morgan), R H Spee, T J Gleeson, N A Parbery, G Zivkovic & A N Fitzgerald are extremely excited about the future prospects of the entire through the rest of the Sydney Carnival and then possibly Brisbane.

To read more on the victory, click here.



Rebel Dane had to settle for second best in the TJ Smith Stakes but for trainer Gary Portelli that was good enough – for now.

When Portelli planned Rebel Dane’s first-up assault on the $2.5 million race, Lankan Rupee was a Group Three winner.

Since then he has established himself as the country’s sprint champion with wins in the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap.

Rebel Dane’s performance to run second to him pleased Portelli who is now planning future Group One targets in his absence including the All Aged Stakes on Saturday week.

“He showed he’s the second best sprinter with his TJ performance,” Portelli said.

“He didn’t handle the wet track and he’s run into a superstar.

“(Jockey) Glen Boss was rapt and I’m very proud of him.

“We’ll look at maybe stepping up to the 1400 metres of the All Aged now before he goes to Brisbane for the BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000.”

A Group One 1400m winner of the Rupert Clarke Stakes in the spring, Rebel Dane ran past Queensland star Buffering in the final 50 metres of the TJ