Rebel Dane on the road north to Qld winter
The road to the Doomben 10,000 has been rough in more ways than one for the favourite Rebel Dane.
The four-year-old put in a below-par run when fifth in the All Aged Stakes and left Sydney on Tuesday for the float trip to Brisbane with his handler reporting a few delays on the way.
Trainer Gary Portelli said he had done what he could to ensure Rebel Dane was in peak condition for his bid for a second Group One victory on Saturday and the rest was out of his hands.
“The strapper who is travelling with him said there had been a couple of accidents on the highway which put things behind by an hour or so,” Portelli said.
“It means he won’t get to Brisbane until later than planned and I just want to hear late tonight that he has eaten up and all is well.”
Portelli was pleased with Rebel Dane’s second in a barrier trial last Tuesday and gave him a final gallop at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
“With the float trip in mind, I didn’t want him to be doing too much when he got to Brisbane except trotting and cantering,” he said.
“He galloped really well and his recovery was fantastic. He is at his fighting weight of 482 kilograms. He was 483 before the All Aged and 480 before the TJ Smith.”
The trainer believes Rebel Dane’s second to Lankan Rupee on a heavy track in the TJ Smith Stakes in April took a lot more out of the horse than he showed in his work leading into the All Aged Stakes in which he failed to produce his usual dash.
“All seemed fine with him going to the All Aged so I’m hoping it was just a one-off,” Portelli said.
“And I hope he can draw a barrier for a change. He hasn’t had a lot of luck with them.
“Most of all we are just keeping things as simple as we can.”
Rebel Dane ran with a crossover nose band in his barrier trial and will sport the same gear on Saturday.
“He usually wears a nose band and the crossover one just adds another piece which keeps a horse’s mouth closed so it doesn’t pull and over-race,” Portelli said.
Rebel Dane is the TAB’s $3.70 favourite ahead of Wednesday’s declaration of the final Doomben 10,000 field and barrier draw.
Queensland star Buffering is at $4 with Spirit Of Boom at $4.80 and BTC Cup winner Famous Seamus at $8.