War Pass filly Warinda, a graduate from the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale, recorded her seventh top three finish from her ten career starts to date, finishing a narrow neck second over 1200m on a cold and windy Canberra race day last Friday.

Racing on a Heavy 10 surface, the Keith Dryden-trained filly, has been in consistent form of late with her last three efforts resulting in a third and two narrow second placed efforts, both over the 1200m.

Raced by Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr D A Jeffery, Mrs C J Jeffery, Mr D J Caldwell, Mr W M Seay Jnr., Mr R A Wise, Mr D Emmerick, Mr K J Hudson, Mr P W Hickey, Mrs A M Hickey, Redbank North Pty Ltd, Mr S Cottle, Ms L A Hanrahan, Mr D J Ulrich, Mr P Hart, Mrs J S Murray, Mr G J Luton, Mr B L Luton, Mr M Duncan, Mr G N Hargraves, the filly is out of the Woodman mare Tolinda, herself a daughter of the dual Group Three winner Tolanda.


After having recorded five placed efforts from her first seven starts, Lonhro filly Supreme Joy was starting to try the patience of her extensive legion of owners, but she is a maiden no longer after an impressive victory at Wyong on July 3.

Stepping up to the 1200m, the Joseph Pride-trained filly was ridden a treat by Jason Collet who settled the filly handy in the field and as the runs came, she sprinted strongly to take the Bishop Collins Accountants Maiden (1200m) by one-and-a-half lengths from the Sam Kavangah-trained Ceda Miss, with My Milly Moo back in third.

Supreme Joy surging clear to win by one-and-a-half lengths.

Supreme Joy surging clear to win by one-and-a-half lengths.

By Darley’s Champion sire, the 11-time Group One winner Lonhro, Supreme Joy is out of the Flying Spur mare Supriya. Secured from the draft of Bell River Thoroughbreds (as agent) at the 2012 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne, the filly is related to Group Two Light Fingers Stakes winner Rock Me Baby (Rock Of Gibraltar) and comes from the family of Champion Two and Three-year-old American filly It’s In The Air, Joint Champion Older Spring Mare in GB in Alverta, Champion European Three-year-old filly Balanchine and the Group One-winning and producing sire Storming Home.

Now that the filly has broken through for her maiden victory, we are excited about her prospects moving forward and best of luck goes to her owners; Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr P J Duggan, Mr A F Hackett, Mr P L Nottage, Mr R Ward A M, Mr T A Brown, Mr B Carlstein, Mr E H Crethar, Mr M K Graham, Mrs A M Mcgrath, Mr A I Grant-Taylor, Mrs N L Grant-Taylor, Mr G A Pointon, Mrs A Blewman, Mr N Macdonald, Mr K Macdonald, Mr P T Grady, Mr W R Hayden, Mr W A Chalker for her future both on and off the track!

Some of the happy connections of Lonhro filly Supreme Joy after her victory at Wyong.

Some of the happy connections of Lonhro filly Supreme Joy after her victory at Wyong.


Gary Portelli has jumped at the chance to secure Tommy Berry to ride Rebel Dane in the Stradbroke Handicap amid speculation Glen Boss will ride Srikandi.

Portelli said he could not wait for Boss to decide and risk losing the chance to book Berry for the second favourite in Brisbane’s premier race on June 7.

Rebel Dane winning the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield - photo by Race Horse Photos AustraliaSrikandi is the Stradbroke favourite following her win in Saturday’s Glenlogan Park Stakes and the decision by connections to pay a late entry fee to put her in the field.

“Unfortunately the situation was that Bossy came up with another nice filly this year,” Portelli said.

“We were of the understanding he was booked for the preparation but then once this filly won he wanted to have a look at the weights before making his decision.

“We basically didn’t want to wait and miss out on Tommy.

“There was pressure coming from his side because obviously he was going to miss out on a ride in the race if we didn’t book him.

“The owners and myself made a decision that Tommy was the rider in the best form.

“He’s the new whiz kid and he’s riding with so much confidence. His style of riding is also one where he’s great at getting these horses coming from off the pace to get through fields.”

Because she has not yet been entered, Srikandi was not given a weight when handicaps were released on Monday but is expected to get 50.5kg.

Weights will go up at least half a kilogram with confirmation Buffering will not run with 59kg. Spirit Of Boom will be the new topweight with the required 58kg.

Portelli was a little surprised at Rebel Dane’s 56kg after the horse ran fourth to Spirit Of Boom with Boss aboard in Saturday’s Doomben 10,000.

“I thought he might get in a bit lighter,” he said.

“He goes up half a kilo so at 56-1/2 he’s probably weighted right up to his best.”

Berry, who is riding on a short term contract in Hong Kong, will also ride Almalad in the Group One J J Atkins and Elusive Runner in the Queensland Derby when he returns for Stradbroke day.

Portelli has a long history with Berry and his late brother Nathan who grew up in the Warwick Farm precinct.

“As a kid Tommy used to run around the streets with his pushbike and tell me he wanted to be apprenticed to me when he grew up,” he said.

“I always thought he would be too big to be an apprentice.”

“But he’s the best rider in Australia at the moment.”

News from APP

Group 1 winner Rebel Dane has arrived in Brisbane ahead of the 2014 Doomben 10,000 and trainer Gary Portelli has revealed that the talented sprinter will not have another serious piece of work ahead of the Group 1 event at Doomben this Saturday.

Rebel Dane had his final serious trackwork gallop before the Doomben 10,000 in Sydney on Saturday.

Rebel Dane was given a testing gallop on Saturday morning after finishing second behind Absalon in a barrier trial over 1030 metres at Rosehill Gardens on May 12 and Portelli told Sky Racing HQ yesterday that the float trip to Brisbane was all that the California Dane entire needed before running in the Doomben 10,000 this weekend.

“He left at about half past four this morning and he is on the truck,” Portelli said yesterday.

“We are going to pull up about half way and give him a good hour rest somewhere and he will probably get there before 4.30 this afternoon.

“He had his gallop on Saturday morning, his last gallop because realistically these float trips up are as good as a gallop sometimes.


Rebel Dane prior to leaving for his trip to Queensland.

“I thought that I would give him a good gallop early in the week, he trialed last Monday as well over 1000 metres at Rosehill, so he has done plenty of work in the last month leading up to this.”

Rebel Dane returned to the races, after a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock, with a strong second behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but was unable to replicate that performance when he finished fifth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later.

Portelli admits that he was extremely disappointed with Rebel Dane’s effort in the All Aged Stakes, but is hopeful that the four-year-old can return to his best form for the Doomben 10,000 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm two weeks later.

“The preparation was always to start off in the T.J. Smith, go to the All Aged and give him four weeks off into the Doomben 10,000 and a fortnight into the Stradbroke,” Portelli said.

“It was a bit disappointing what happened second-up.

“We were very keen on him and there was no reason or sign of anything that was wrong with him heading into the race and he just raced two lengths below what was expected by him from all of us.

“It leaves you a bit sort of shell-shocked, because you read the signs and all the signs were good, but obviously that run took a bit out of him and at this level you don’t want to lose anything because you can be found wanting very quickly.

“It was a disappointing day, but you have to pick yourself up and move forward and we have done everything that we can do to make sure that everything is right again and we hope that first-up run hasn’t taken too much out of him again.”

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.


Having won two starts back at Yarran Glen on March 16, Grand Orator then headed to Caulfield over 1200m, running a very good race to finish third, beaten just under two lengths.

Trainer Tony Noonan the took the five-year-old Oratorio gelding to Mornington on Sunday and the move paid dividends, scoring a very good length win over the 1200m, defeating Magic Tom, with the third placed Quatermain, two-and-three-quarter lengths astern.

Settling back and wide, jockey Jake Noonan had the gelding where he appeared comfortable and allowed him to slow make up ground in the run. It always appeared that Grand Orator had the leaders well within his grasp, and as the home turn was reached, it was evident he was travelling very well.

Going on to achieve another victory, his fourth from 17 starts to date, the five-year-old is racing in career best form, and as we progress with him, further wins do not look out of question at all!

Having his races spaced appears to really suite Grand Orator and a massive congratulations must go to trainer Tony Noonan as well as his patient owners; Laurel Oak Aidan Syndicate (L J Mihalyka), F W Cook, Mrs C M Cook, G Duffy-Smith, Mrs K A Fraser & Ms A L Goble.


Grand Orator

Grand Orator (Photo courtesy of Slickpix)

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 theinformant.co.nz.

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.

race 7_rebel dane 4_thumb[2]

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

From the final Australian-conceived crop of Darley stallion Shamardal, the Laurel Oak-part owned Better Land scored in impressive fashion on his racetrack debt at Sale on April 6.

Secured from the 2013 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Edinglassie Stud for $400,000, the son of former top-class Redoute’s Choice juvenile Amelia’s Dream looked very classy in his three length victory.

While it is only the first winner from the mare, if the calibre of the success of Brilliant Land’s victory is anything to go by, then Amelia’s Dream looks capable of becoming a very good broodmare.

Brilliant Land has now headed to the paddock and looks a very capable type for the spring with many top lass stakes races on offer to the three-year-olds early in the piece highlighted by the Group One Golden Rose.

Congratulations to all 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, Lanista Thoroughbreds (Mgr: S C Cook), A W Reichard.

Click here to view the pedigree of Brilliant Land as a yearling.

Brillant Land

Track conditions may have been unfavorable, but Glen Boss was still delighted with how TJ Smith aspirant Rebel Dane trialled.

Boss noted that while the Rosehill track was still rain affected, Rebel Dane still trialled well ahead of Saturday week’s TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.

Rebel Dane was deep throughout as he closed to within a head of Zaratone at the end of the 900 metres.

“The ground was pretty soft, pretty ordinary ground to trial on unfortunately, which is not his go as he’s not really a soft track horse, but it was a good trial,” Boss said.

“I was really happy with him, he looks great and pulled up really well. All good signs.”

Boss said he would ride Rebel Dane, which hasn’t started since finishing seventh behind Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic, at Warwick Farm next Tuesday, but he believes trainer Gary Portelli has him exactly where he wants him.

He said Rebel Dane, winner of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield last September, is not the sort of horse that needs to be hammered to get fit.

“He’s a genuine horse, a proper sprinter. He’s a better horse than he was last spring, the only real time he failed was when he went down the straight.

“He was terrible down the straight, he had no idea. The rest of his prep was great.”

To view the Heat 5, click here.

News from Racing Network

Glen Boss predicts Rebel Dane will announce his arrival as one of the country’s elite sprinters when he returns in next month’s $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes.

Boss partnered the Gary Portelli-trained horse in a race day gallop at Rosehill on Saturday and came away adamant the four-year-old felt superior to the spring when he won the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

“What I see there is a fully mature colt. He’s always been a bit immature and weak and he’s been doing it all on raw ability,” Boss said.

“I’d say he’s in the top three or four sprinters going around at the moment.

“Last preparation he was probably in the top five, now he’s top three and he’s gone to another level.”

Rebel Dane pictured below winning the G1 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes on September 29, defeating Fontelina, Solzhenitsyn and Speediness.

RD Clarke

mare and foalThis is a good time to analyse your broodmares in preparation for the 2014 booking season. We would reasonably expect that the more-popular stallions, particularly from a future sales point of view, will be subject to their usual booking frenzy over the Easter yearling period.

We stay in close touch with all the major studs with regard to possible and likely stallion additions for the 2014 breeding season, so we expect that the only major stallion additions for the coming season will be late retirements in either hemisphere.

For more information on the Brain Pedigree Analysis, click here or head over to the Contact page here.

Although we had to wait until towards the end of the sale, Laurel Oak Bloodstock were fortunate enough to secure Lot 653, a brown Written Tycoon filly out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Cosmic Choice, herself a half-sister to the Listed placed Luce del Mare, both daughters of the Group Three-winning, Group One placed Made Of Gold mare Cosmic Strike.

For more information on Lot 653, please click the below image to view Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s flyer on the filly.

Grand Orator

Secured from the NZB Yearling Sales in 2010 by Tony Noonan, 5yo Oratorio gelding Grand Orator won his third race today for owners; Laurel Oak Aidan Syndicate (L J Mihalyka), Francis Cook, Graham Duffy-Smith, Christine Duffy-Smith, Glenn & …Kerry Fraser, Wayne Frith, Anne Goble, David Hawke, Roy Hodgson, Trevor Hodgson, Tony McDougall, Paul Peters & Susannah Thompson Hawke.

Taking the race by a length from Written Intent with the third placed Sadaqa two-and-three-quarter lengths astern, Grand Orator has produced 10 top four finishes from his 15 starts to date!!

Congratulations to all involved with the progressive 5yo including some of his excited owners below with trainer Tony Noonan.


Known as “Rosie” to her legion of owners, Not A Single Doubt filly All My Loving headed to Kembla Grange on Saturday February 15 to contest the Blow Hole Point Maiden Plate over 2000m.

Stepping up to the trip for the first time, a trip that connections had always felt confident she would handle, the Gary Portelli-trained filly had recorded four previous placed efforts from her seven career starts to that point.

With Sam Clipperton in the saddle, the filly jumped away well from the gates and went forward to settle in third position, a few lengths from the leader.

Appreciating the good tempo set up front, Clipperton pulled the filly out before the home turn and she rounded them up before pulling away to assert her superior staying ability, going on to record an impressive four length victory from Dodge That with a nose back to the third horse Heresdecasino.

The manner of her victory now opens up Oaks options for 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-owned filly as she progresses further into her campaign with the lucrative Group One ATC Australian Oaks as part of “The Championship” race days, or there is the Group One Queensland Oaks held in Queensland during the Winter.

While she is by  noted sprinting sire in Not A Single Doubt, her staying capabilities appear to come through her dam side with her dam Valentine Rose being by Black Minnaloushe.

Purchased from the draft of Burnewang North Pastoral at the 2012 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, the improving filly wears the pink and white silks of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, with 10% of all her winning prizemoney going to the very worthy cause.

Congratulations to all involved in this filly!!

Heading to the 2014 Karaka Yearling Sales in New Zealand, Laurel Oak Bloodstock in conjunction with our trainer Tony Noonan were fortunate to secure Lot 478, a chestnut filly by first-season sire Rip Van Winkle, out of the stakes-winning More Than Ready mare Floramour  – pedigree.

From the draft of Curraghmore Stud, the sire of our filly in Rip Van Winkle is a Champion Three-year-old son of Galileo, the winner of five races highlighted by victories in the York Juddmonte International Stakes, Goodwood Sussex Stakes and the Ascot Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – all at Group One level.

The first foal from Floramour, the broodmare sire of our filly More Than Ready has been represented by three Group One winners – all in the last 12 months – Atlante, Miracles Of Life and our very own Rebel Dane, while he is also the broodmare sire of this year’s Magic Millions winner Unencumbered.

For more information on this attractive filly, contact Louis on 0418 962 858 or email the Laurel Oak Office office@laureloak.com.au

Attending the Inglis Classic Sale last week, Laurel Oak were lucky enough to secure four yearlings.

Lot 146: Snitzel x Enchanted Melody filly – Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, $60,000 – Pedigree

Purchased specifically for a client, this Snitzel filly is the first foal of an Encosta de Lago daughter of the stakes placed Flying Dansino, herself a half-sister to the three-time Listed-winning, Group One placed Zagreb.


Lot 153: Zizou x Exclusive Bid filly, Turangga Farm, $50,000 – Pedigree

This filly is a full-sister to three time Sydney winner Zin Zan Eddie.

This filly is bred on the same inbreeding to Easy Date cross that is evident in all of Zizou’s best horses – Zin Zan Eddie, Marseille Roulette and Everage. Last year’s Blue Diamond winner Miracles Of Life is also inbred to Easy Date.

This filly will target the Inglis Classic, Black Opal and Golden Slipper.


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Lot 163: Al Maher x Fipple filly – Emirates Park, $6,000 – Pedigree

First foal out of a Viscount three-quarter-sister to Listed winner Tinamou, as well as being a half-sister to the Listed winner Happier.

Third Dam is the stakes winner Whistling, dam of Group Two winner Syrinx, Group Three winner Whistle Up and the Listed-winning, Group One placed Noise.


Lot 275: Northern Meteor x Luscillas Choice – Broadwater Thoroughbreds, $130,000 – Pedigree

She is a filly out of a Redoute’s Choice mare. While buying a Northern Meteor is pretty special in itself this one is particularly special as she is the same Northern Meteor/Redoute’s Choice cross that produced Zoustar, Northern Meteor’s Group One-winning son.

If you would like any information on any of these fillies, please contact the office on office@laureloak.com.au


Purchased on the second day of the Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Laurel Oak Bloodstock were lucky enough to secure Lot 330: b. c. Congrats (USA) x Dirty from the draft of Vinery Stud – pedigree

Set to be trained by Gary Portelli Racing, the dam of our purchase is Dirty, a Listed-winning Hussonet mare from the family of Group One winner Nashville as well as fellow stakes winners Hawajiss, Torumba, Fast Company and Trudeau.

For more information on this impressive colt, contact Louis on 0418 962 858 or email the Laurel Oak Office office@laureloak.com.au

Wow! Another year gone! As commented about a year ago, the sales catalogues have arrived, Christmas is looming large, and the cycle of yearling sales, racing carnivals and social functions starts all over again, and before we know it, we will be back here preparing for Christmas 2014.

But each year has so many challenges and so much enjoyment that all we can do is look forward to it, embrace it, enjoy it, and hope that we all stay healthy and can enjoy many more of them.

And nothing makes a year more enjoyable than winners. In 2013, REBEL DANE was obviously the Laurel Oak star, taking us to Group 1-winning heights that we have not enjoyed for ten years. He contested several Group 1 races, won at Group 1, 2 and 3 levels, while his best performance of all may even have been running a close second to Pierro at Group 2 level.

There were also plenty of winners amongst the support team, although not as many perhaps as in some of our recent years. But the signs are good that most of the Laurel Oak team will be winning in 2014.

Leading the charge in that regard was MAGNUS OPUS. The giant 3yo Magnus gelding debuted at Seymour at the end of November with a very impressive victory. Trainer Tony Noonan thought that he would likely need the education, and that the tight circuit over 1100m would be too short for him. However, after getting back early, he tracked into the race very well approaching the corner under Dwayne Dunn’s guidance, and then let loose in the straight for an impressive win.

Tony has given him a few quiet weeks with a view to bringing him back for a VOBIS Gold race at Caulfield on 4 January, followed by a 3yo race at Flemington over 1400m on 18 January.

Magnus Opus was our first exposure to VOBIS Gold and we are certainly impressed. The 3yo maiden win at Seymour yielded not just the $10,500 normal first prizemoney, and not just the $4,900 winning owners’ Super VOBIS bonus, but also a VOBIS Gold bonus, which was $14,000 to the winner. That resulted in an extremely healthy first prize of $29,400 gross (before jockey/trainer deductions) for a maiden win.

Magnus Opus, for a big, growing horse, showed great natural aptitude through his early 2yo training, and looked like he may defy his physical size by getting to the races early. However, in January he required a wind operation which set him back timing-wise. While the wind operation itself was successful, the extra time out no doubt gave him the time he needed to physically mature and furnish into a racehorse. The fact that he is still learning indicates that there is genuine upside to him.

Ironically Magnus Opus was bred by Peter Moody to a Brain-recommended mating and we bought him from the second session of the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for $35,000 plus GST. He is the reverse of the Black Caviar mating as his sire, Magnus, is out of Black Caviar’s female line, while his dam, McCune, is by Bel Esprit, the sire of Black Caviar. The pedigrees of both Black Caviar and Magnus Opus contain close-up linebreeding to Vain, which has likely injected some speed into both pedigrees, no doubt more into the great mare’s pedigree!

Rebel Dane, one of the best short-course horses in Australia, will run first-up in the $2.5 million T. J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12.

Trainer Gary Portelli this afternoon told Racing Network he would not be tempted to start the horse before that race.

“He’s unbeaten first-up, that’s his go, so he’ll go to the T. J. Smith fresh and first-up,” he said.

“I went and had a look at him two days ago in the paddock and he looks magnificent.

“He put on quite a show for us in the paddock, he’s put on a stack of weight and has definitely done very well while he’s been out,” Portelli said.

During the Melbourne Spring Carnival Rebel Dane won the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Portelli said he would be bringing Rebel Dane back into work in two weeks.

“He’s going to come back in very good order but he will be aimed at the TJ,” he said.

Portelli said the BTC Cup, Doomben Cup and Stradbroke Handicap were three possible races for Rebel Dane during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

“I’ll see how he goes first-up and if he runs in the first three we’ll probably go to Brisbane for those races,” he said.

Reported on Racing Network

Making his debut in the Von Costa De Hero Maiden Plate over 1100m at Seymour , three-year-old Magnus gelding Magnus Opus jumped away fairly from the barrier and jockey Dwayne Dunn let the Tony Noonan-trained runner settle towards the back of the pack, with only three runners behind him

Racing wide, but with cover, Dunn started to make up ground around the outside of the field at the 600m mark and as the field cornered into the home straight, he was the second widest of the field, still needing to make up many lengths.

When asked for the supreme effort, he knuckled down extremely well to gather in Sharatan and pull away for a length-and-a-quarter victory.

In what was an impressive debut performance, Dunn had time to put the whip away and allowed the gelding to coast to the line, ears pricked, indicating that there is plenty of talent there.

Towering over his opposition, Magnus Opus is out of the unraced Bel Esprit mare McCune, herself a daughter of the Umatilla mare Lisa’s Game, a winner of the Listed Cranbourne Cup and a narrow runner up in the Group One Caulfield Cup behind the import Taufan’s Melody.

Secured from the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $35,000 by Laurel Oak Bloodstock / Tony Noonan Racing from the draft of Yallambee Stud, Magnus Opus (pictured above as a yearling) is owned a large group of owners; Laurel Oak Batman (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Dr T P Clarke, A Dozen Pots (Mgr: T McDougall), Boeara Holdings (Mgr: Mrs D A Dunphy), W H A Rigg, B J Birney, B D Bryant, W R Haylen, P J Macbeth, Mrs J C McAuliffe, G S Tucker, M J Clift, W R Hayden, Mrs M V Horrig and a massive congratulations goes out to all concerned.

Fourth last time out in the Group Three Bobbie Lewis Quality over 1200m at Flemington, the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane stepped up to the 1400m of the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and returned triumphant for his connections!

Jumping away from a wide gate, Rebel Dane drifted back in the field trying to get a position, but unfortunately travelled wide for most of the trip, although he did have some cover.

With a good tempo set by the Peter Moody-trained Strawberry Boy, Rebel Dane followed the ghostly grey Linton as he made his run, and 250m from home pulled off his heels to chase down Fontelina who had gained a gap on the rails. Rebel Dane hit the front and held off the large charges of Solzhenitsyn and Speediness, with the final margin being a short half-head x short head.

Rebel Dane pictured in the red cap below after the field crossed the line. The footage of the race can be viewed below courtesy of TVN and The Racing Network.

“It’s a great relief. Bossy has had the belief that he was a Group One horse and we were hoping he was right,” Portelli said.

“Every trainer in the world wants to win Group One races and it’s hard to find these sort of horses.”

Achieving his first Group One victory, the highly-talented son of California Dane was bred by the Laurel Oak Texarcana Syndicate, who then couldn’t sell the colt, and made the decision to send him to Portelli to train, just like they had done many years prior with his dam.

“People spend a lot of money trying to find a good one, but luckily enough for me … they and bred an ugly duckling, couldn’t sell him, and I got him to train,” Portelli said.

“They’re great supporters. We’ve had a lot of luck over the years but nothing at this level and it’s great fun.

“Some of this horse’s owners even raced the grandmother, so there will be a lot of tears I expect.”

Boss said Rebel Dane did it tough racing three wide, but he had cover behind Stradbroke winner Linton who battled on courageously to finish fifth.

“He really dug deep and I have nothing but admiration for this colt,” said the champion jockey, who now has 86 Group Ones to his name.

Having now won six from ten career starts, the victory by Rebel Dane took his earnings just shy of $700,000 for his extensive group of owners.

After announcing his class in the Autumn with victory in the Group Two Royal Sovereign Stakes, as well as having finished a short head second to Champion Pierro in the Group Two Hobartville Stakes, Rebel Dane resumed on August 24 at Warwick Farm off the back of an easy barrier trial victory a month prior.

Contesting the Group Three Show County Quality, jockey Glen Boss, who had made a commitment to partner the colt throughout his campaign, jumped the four-year-old away fairly from the gates to settle in a mid-filed position.

With a good pace set up front by the Corumbene Stud-raced Ichihara, Boss bided his time until the colt was balanced and ready to assert his authority.

About six lengths off the lead half way through the race, Boss pushed the exciting Gary Portelli-trained runner wide when the field rounded the home turn and he sprinted with ease, pulling away to record a classy one-and-a-quarter length victory from Title and the Group One winner Norzita.

The elation from all concerned was quite evident after the victory, but none more so than from the exciting colt’s trainer.

“This is what you train racehorses for,” Portelli said.

“You get up at 3am every morning trying to find that good horse.

“I’ve had some nice horses over the years but this one might be something special.”

“It’s relief because you want to see them return and win like that,” Portelli said.

“But it is also excitement because he’s only a young horse and still lightly raced.

“No doubt he is starting to put the runs on the board now but every step from here on will be tougher for him.

“It is so easy to wrap a horse because everyone has the dream of training that really good horse but this bloke might realise that dream for us.”

Leading jockey Glen Boss was also highly impressed with the colt, riding him for the first time under race conditions.

“Gee, he gives you a feel this horse,” Boss said.

Rebl Dane - Group Three Show County Quality Presentation
“I didn’t get anywhere near the bottom of him today. I gave him a couple of back-handers at the top of the straight and let him coast to the line.

“He’s a push-button horse with a great turn of foot. His win was arrogant.”

Portelli said it gave him added confidence when an authority such as Boss talked in such glowing terms about Rebel Dane.

“It just reaffirms what we always hoped we’ve got with this horse,” Portelli said.

“You think you have one that is really good but when blokes like ‘Bossy’, who ride top horse all the time, tell you the horse is very good, it is what you want to hear.”

With a large group of owners on hand to witness Rebel Dane’s second stakes victory, Laurel Oak would like to not only congratulate the owners, trainer Gary Portelli and jockey Glen Boss, but also the syndicate the bred and raced his dam Texarcana.

By More Than Ready, Texarcana has a two-year-old Bernadini filly, a Rothesay yearling colt and has a filly foal by Zoffany.

We have become ‘fussy’ at the sales this year. The improved performance of our team in general over the past 12 months has been courtesy of a few lessons learned from past disappointments, compared to past successes. To try and maintain the higher quality we have tried to stick with the criteria we have been applying particularly last year and this year. Somehow last year we just found more horses that fitted the bill because, leading up to the Melbourne Premier Sale, we had bought four horses and then another five in Melbourne. This year we have bought only two horses, and even one of those is likely to go first to the Ready to Run Sales in New Zealand before we know whether it will be available for Laurel Oak owners.

Consequently, we would have been happy to buy three or four horses in Melbourne, but somehow couldn’t find the standard we were looking for. The one horse we did buy was on the first afternoon, at Lot 94, which was a Dylan Thomas colt out of Stravinsky’s Image.

Dylan Thomas/Stavinsky’s Image Colt


The colt rated a sensational 108***** under the Brain system, and is a full-brother to Agon, who is a well-performed city-winning 3yo filly with Chris Waller. We were keen on Dylan Thomas in general as he was such a great racehorse, and we always figured he would be able to produce some outstanding horses, even if they would likely be 3yos, just like he was. That had been a contributing factor to our purchase of Return Journey, who appears to have vindicated the decision by earning more than her $55,000 purchase price within her first three career starts. The Stravinsky’s Image colt was the one we liked most, and it suited what we were looking for in conjunction with Keith Dryden.


Having only two confirmed purchases so far, plus three yearlings that are being retained, gives us the potential to buy two or three yearlings at the Easter Yearling Sale, which is the highest-quality sale in Australia and the greatest source of stakes-winning horses, albeit at a price. Regardless, if they are good horses they become good value. We have already started the process of inspecting, having spent two days in the Hunter Valley at the start of this week, to get an early feel for some potential purchases.

There are some genuinely exciting prospects already, and, we encourage you to report any genuine pre-sale interest beforehand and we will stay in touch with you regarding potential purchases, or give you priority notice immediately after any purchases.

The Easter Yearling Sale is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9, 10 & 11 April, which is the week following the Golden Slipper.

A year ago, VILAKAZI STREET was in a rich vein of form that culminated in a victory in the $60,500 Albury City Handicap, and a great second in the Wagga Town Plate.

As a consequence of his consistency and achievements, he was severely penalised by the handicappers under the benchmark system, which rendered him uncompetitive in his new grade. Despite actually racing in form, he’d had seven unplaced starts before a return to Albury for the same race, albeit for $10,500 less prizemoney than the previous year. Constant rain had made the track softer than what was ideal for the horse, and the outside draw also made it theoretically difficult. A solid tempo in the race meant that he was back in last position, but he was able to get to the outside and gradually work home under Kevin Sweeney’s persuasion to arrive in time to make it back-to-back victories in the feature race on the first day of the Albury Carnival.

It was Vilakazi Street’s eighth win from 33 career starts, and took his earnings past $200,000. In addition to the victories, he has also run second nine times, so the fact he has run in the first two in more than half his career starts, despite his string of unplaced runs, highlights what a consistent horse he has been for his connections in his career to-date. At this stage, the next-start plans for him haven’t been determined, but a return to Wagga for the Town Plate in early May looms as a possibility.

Vilakazi Street defends his Albury City Hcp crown. Photo courtesy of Bradley Photography



Saturday, 2nd March 2013 – Our rising star, Rebel Dane, took another huge leap forward at Rosehill today when he gave champion, Pierro, a big scare in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes.

Rebel Dane make Pierro fight for victory. Photo courtesy of Bradley Photography.

We headed into today’s event under no illusion that it would be a mammoth task to knock over the champ, but our tough colt ran him down to a short-half-head on the line despite blundering the start.

Rebel Dane was tardily away but was able to muster speed and take a position midfield, just behind Pierro. Rounding the turn jockey, Jason Collett had no alternative but to take runs towards the inside and well into the straight he was giving Pierro a good length start.

Passing the 100m mark, we looked set to run a pleasing second, however, Rebel Dan pinned his ears back and set out after Pierro. He was taking considerable ground off the champ over the concluding stages and he had to pull out all stops to hold off Rebel Dane.

While we did have a fitness advantage, we will be improved by the run and we look forward to locking forms with “the big guns” again in the Randwick Guineas.

A huge congratulations must go to Gary Portelli and his staff for the tremendous work they have put into preparing Rebel Dane thus far.


\Sunday, 24 Feb 2013 – Consistent 3yo gelding Crusader General made a return to the winners stall at Canberra this afternoon, taking out the Jack Thomas Memorial Hcp on Black Opal Preview Day.

Crusader General was aided by a superbly judged ride from Winona Costin, who dictated terms from the outset and gave nothing else a chance to run Crusader General down.

While the lure of running in the Canberra Guineas is a big attraction, Crusader General’s owners will be patient and wait for the Albury Guineas where their General Nediym 3yo will be eligible to collect a $50,000 Inglis Bonus should he salute in this race.

Crusader General cruises to victory.

Crusader General’s happy connections.

Saturday, 16th Feb 2013 – Our star 3yo colt, Rebel Dane, continued his undefeated run, making it four wins from four starts when sensationally winning the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes at Rosehill.

Our pre-race plans went out the window on jumping, when Rebel Dane received a check and was squeezed out the back, to settle in last place.

Things looked grim when the race was run at a slow tempo Rebel Dane spotted the leaders a good eight lengths on entering the straight.

Jockey Jason Collett switched the California Dan colt to the outside and he set sail after the leaders.

At the 200m mark he was still giving away a big start but gradually kept finding and over the final 50m he gave his all to nail, Urquidez on the line.

It was a thrilling moment for his large syndicate of owners, most of who were in disbelief of what they had witnessed.

Rebel Dane is building an imposing record and is now set to take an even bigger step, when he takes on champion, Pierro, in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes. This will be no mean feat but one we are excited about facing.

Not only was it a tremendous result for Rebel Dane’s owners, but also his Laurel Oak syndicate of breeders that own his dam, Texarcana.

Texarcana won three races over her career but gave her owners many tremendous highlights competing,  in such races as the VRC Oaks and AJC Flight Stakes. Despite these unsuccessful ventures, they provided unforgettable experiences and Rebel Dane is only continuing the thrill for this group of breeders.

Texarcana has a yearling Bernadini filly, a Rothesay colt and is currently in foal to Zoffany, and if any of these siblings have the determination of their older brother, there are more exciting times ahead.

Rebel Dane wins the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes.

Rebel Danes connections following his stunning Royal Soveriegn Stakes victory.

Laurel Oak are absolutely thrilled to have secured the Fastnet Rock colt out of the Group One winning mare Zarita, from the Magic Millions Sales, for Tony Noonan to train.

Our Fastnet Rock/Zarita Colt

Fastnet Rocks were on the initial inspection list without any real expectation to buy. This colt was Laurel Oak’s top pick after pedigree analysis and vet check and we did not have any expectation to be able to buy him. Rather we went through the protocols in case a trainer we knew bought the horse and we could take an interest.

As we were sitting with Tony watching the sale as he came and both of us commented how much we had liked the horse. The way the Fastnets had been selling we expected to be observers only. When bidding started to stall at $200k we decided to chime in and have a go, and were able to outbid David Hayes buy him at $250k plus GST.

We were thrilled to be able to get him and he is arguably the best-pedigreed horse that we have ever bought, and he has a real stallion’s pedigree if he can succeed on the track.

While all shares in this exciting colt have been allocated, Laurel Oak will be actively buying at the upcoming yearling sales around Australasia, and, if you would like to join the Laurel Oak team, please contact our office to find out how.


Return Journey’s owners were delivered a late Christmas Present when she won impressively at the Caulfield Boxing Day meeting.

Despite heading to this race looking to settle off a hot speed, Return Journey, ridden by Jake Noonan, ended up jumping too well and settled right on the speed.

Approaching the turn, Jake brought the Dylan Thomas filly out to clear galloping room and she quickly set up a lead and never looked like being beaten, where she came away for an impressive 1.75 length victory, at the juicy odds of $31!!

All along we have been expecting this filly to excel once she reached distances of a mile and beyond, and if this is the case, we are in for an exciting career.

Return Journey took her record to 3 starts for two wins and a third and $58,600 prizemoney.

The filly has now headed for a well deserved break and will be much improved next time in.

Roman Alliance scored his third win from eleven starts with a gutsy Canberra victory on 30 November at his first run for the month.

After finishing last as favourite, having been trapped wide at Queanbeyan at the end of October, this KEITH DRYDEN-trained galloper returned to the track ridden by Grant Buckley. Although Roman Alliance over-raced early, Grant managed to get him to settle well enough and then, under vigorous riding in the straight, prevailed over favourite, Paramount Pete, to score a good win.

Roman Alliance’s victory was another success for a Laurel Oak breeding syndicate as he was bred by the Miracle Queen syndicate, and bought by Keith Dryden and Laurel Oak at the Melbourne Premier Sale.

After a good debut third at Kyneton on their Cup Day, Return Journey returned to that track for her second start. Ridden by apprentice Brad Wallace, this Tony Noonan-trained filly did everything with a bit of authority. Having been trapped wide early from her wide draw, Brad took her up outside the leader, and on straightening she quickly put the issue beyond doubt.

The filly is somewhat of a conundrum as she has brilliant natural speed yet is bred to run 2400m, so we don’t quite know yet how far she will ultimately get.

We would like to race her with cover, but until now the horses she has trialled against haven’t been fast enough to keep up with her, so the next stage of her learning curve will be back over 1000m at Caulfield on Boxing Day, where she is more likely to find faster horses to give her a chance to get some cover.

Return Journey was one of three winners for Tony over two days, and one of four for him over the week, so it was good to see his stable back to its winning ways.

Return Journey will likely have only the one more start before going for a break to consolidate what she has learned so far.

Return Journey wins at Kyenton

Eye Of The Needle is another horse that had lost his way and had come off an unsuccessful, by his standards, three-start preparation. Keith Dryden then freshened him up, and he resumed in a benchmark 69 1200m race in Canberra.

Local apprentice, Kayla Cross, rode him and rated him perfectly in front, and he kept going to win by 1.3 lengths. That was his sixth career victory from 22 starts, and we hope he can add to that this preparation.

Eye Of The Needle Saluting at Canberra

One of the biggest-sized trophies in the south-east of NSW is for the Defence Force Cup, which is run at Queanbeyan. Mass Exodus won the race a couple of years ago, and this year it was Reigning Rhythm’s turn.

Reigning Rhythm was having his seventh start for the preparation, and we were disappointed that he had not added to his winning record as he won three races in the south-east last preparation. Two placings out of his six starts indicated that he was not far off a win, and on this occasion, in a small field, jockey Kevin Sweeney had settled him back in last place.

With a slow tempo he whipped around the field to take the lead before the corner and kept going strongly to win the Cup by a length and a half.

One win over a staying distance pretty well pays for his preparation as he collected $13,200, including the BOBS Extra bonus.


It was very pleasing to see Beckon return to the winners stall with a comprehensive victory at the ATC meeting at Gosford this afternoon, in what was his first Sydney outing.

Trainer Peter Moody decided to try something different to snap Beckon out of his seeming lethargy as he has shown much more ability than that in the past.

After working him the reverse way of going he decided to bring him to Sydney for a metropolitan midweek race.

Back to 1200m in what was a solid tempo, jockey Jason Parr had him perfectly poised behind the two leaders, and he pulled out at the right time in the straight and then did the job well to come away for a one-length victory from a fast-finishing field.

After winning his first two career starts Beckon has lost his way somewhat but it is good to see him back in the winners’ circle for his second metropolitan victory from ten career starts.

While we are not getting carried away with his upside at this stage, he will stay in Sydney and we will look for further suitable races over sprint distances.