Rebel with a cause in 2015 Manikato Stakes
Rebel Dane’s best chance of winning a Group I this preparation will be Friday night’s $1 million Group I William Hill Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley according to trainer Gary Portelli.
More than two years have passed since Rebel Dane’s first and only Group I success in the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Portelli believes now is the time for the six-year-old to claim a second victory at the elite level.
Rebel Dane has excelled at Moonee Valley despite a deceptive record of one win from four attempts. In his four starts at the unique circuit, Rebel Dane has been beaten a combined margin of less than 4-1/2 lengths, and each of those runs were in Group I company.
Portelli is also buoyed by a recent wind operation on the horse which has proven a huge success in two outings this preparation. A brilliant first-up win in the Group II Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 19 was followed by a fast-finishing second behind Manikato Stakes rival Terravista in the Group II Premiere Stakes (1200m) at the same venue.
The son of California Dane travels down to Melbourne on Wednesday evening.
“That’s been his routine every time,” Portelli said. “And I think he’s going as good as ever.
“He usually peaks at his third run in so hopefully he gets a bit of luck this year.
“He galloped last Saturday and we’ve just kept him fresh since.
“The whole preparation has been centered on this race and Moonee Valley certainly plays into our hands, if he’s going to win a Group I this preparation this is his chance.”
Portelli also revealed that Rebel Dane has been vaccinated in case of a trip to Hong Kong for the Group I International Sprint (1200m) in December.
“There’s Hong Kong on the table, he’s been vaccinated so we’ll see what happens. Obviously Friday night will tell us a bit more,” he said.
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