Gary Portelli admits it took Rebel Dane a couple of days to recover from his meeting with star sprinter Lankan Rupee and is happy the Mick Price-trained gelding has gone for a spell.
Rebel Dane chased Lankan Rupee home in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday week, getting to within two lengths of him on the heavy track.
Portelli believes the extra 200 metres of Saturday’s All Aged Stakes will suit Rebel Dane who claimed his maiden Group One win over the distance in the Rupert Clarke Stakes last spring.
The trainer is also hoping the weather stays fine and Rebel Dane gets to race on a firmer track than last time.
“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.
“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 Group One 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 so that.
Buffering ran third in the TJ on ground that suits him.
Chris Waller has entered Red Tracer and Doncaster third placed Weary in the All Aged while Gerald Ryan has Snitzerland nominated for both the All Aged and the Victory Stakes in Brisbane with the weather to decide where she goes.
The mare struggled in the TJ Smith which was her first experience of a heavy track.