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 has not raced since his seventh to Buffering in the VRC Sprint at Flemington in November.
Keen to give the horse a good spell, trainer Gary Portelli deliberately bypassed the major sprints in Melbourne to focus on the TJ Smith.
Rebel Dane is unbeaten first-up and Portelli echoed the jockey’s view he has returned to work a bigger and better horse.
Saturday’s gallop was designed to rid Rebel Dane of his nervous energy, something Portelli felt he achieved.
“I’m glad I did it. In the walkway he sweated up, danced around and carried on,” Portelli said.
“When he gets to Randwick you’ll find that’s out of his system now.”
The TJ Smith is set to be one of the races of The Championships with a big prize money boost attracting the country’s best sprinting talent.
Newmarket Handicap winner Lankan Rupee will make the trip to Sydney for the race while glamour colt Zoustar and tough campaigner Buffering are also among the big names being aimed at the race.