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Gary Portelli is on weather watch for sprinter Straturbo who is nominated for races in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Portelli will wait until later in the week to decide whether to send the gelding south for a crack at Saturday’s Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington or keep him in Sydney for a benchmark-85 sprint.

“We’re playing the weather game at the moment because he’s in at Rosehill as well,” Portelli said.

“We’re probably just going to watch the weather by Wednesday.

“He’s useless when it’s wet and I’m not sure how the tracks are going to dry out with the rain we’ve had up here.”

Portelli said he was leaning to the Flemington race and had tentatively booked Dean Yendall for the ride.

“He’s had one go at Flemington and he didn’t go too badly,” the Warwick Farm trainer said.

“I wouldn’t be averse to giving him one more try at the 1000 metres.”

Showers are also predicted in Melbourne this week.

Straturbo’s six career wins have come on good-rated tracks while he is yet to post a top three finish in seven attempts on soft or heavy ground.

At his most recent start on January 9, Straturbo finished seventh in the Magic Millions Sprint (1100m) at the Gold Coast, a race he won a year earlier.

Portelli believes the six-year-old gelding ended up too far back in the run but finished the race off OK.

“He’s an on-pace horse and I was disappointed to see him get so far back,” he said.

The Kensington Stakes has attracted 18 nominations headlined by last year’s winner The Quarterback.

The Robbie Griffiths-trained The Quarterback has shown his liking for the straight 1000m at Flemington with three wins from five attempts.

Three-year-olds Headwater and Heatherly have been nominated while other entries include the Mark Kavanagh-trained mare Wild Rain, second to Husson Eagle in the Magic Millions Sprint.

Rebel Dane returned to Portelli’s Sydney base on Sunday after his first-up third as favourite in Saturday’s Australia Stakes, but will return to Melbourne for the Group One C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield which is on February 13.

It was the third time Rebel Dane has had to settle for a minor placing in a feature sprint at Moonee Valley.

“He should improve off that run on a bigger track,” Portelli said.

 
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