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.