Sydney sprinter Rebel Dane has come through the first stage of his trip to Melbourne like a seasoned traveller.
Now trainer Gary Portelli says it’s up to Glen Boss to help get the second part right.
“I was a bit worried about how he would cope with the float trip because he can get a bit fired up,” Portelli said.
“My strapper reports he took it all in his stride and he had a swim and a walk around as soon as he got there.”
Rebel Dane is an early Melbourne spring carnival arrival to race in the Bobbie Lewis Quality on Saturday, a Group Three sprint run over Flemington’s famous straight-six course.
Straight-track racing can be a daunting exercise for first-timers like Rebel Dane but Portelli is counting on Boss to nurse the four-year-old through the experience.
“I’m pretty happy to have Glen on him because he knows the horse now and he knows how to ride the straight track,” Portelli said.
Rebel Dane raced on the periphery of the standard set by Australia’s best three-year-olds last season but his first-up win in the Show County Quality suggests he might be ready to become part of the racing elite’s inner sanctum.
He takes on the biggest field of the Makybe Stakes meeting with a record of one win and one placing from two second-up starts.
It’s a statistic which obviously sits well with punters who have backed the entire from $3 to $2.80 in the first 24 hours of betting.
But Portelli insists the Bobbie Lewis won’t be an easy race to win.
“People have told me there’s not much in the race but to my eye you can make a case for a lot of horses,” he said.