Rebel Dane to be Primed for 2016 Hong Kong Sprint

November 21st, 2016

Trainer Gary Portelli is confident that stable star Rebel Dane will carry his peak condition abroad, when he travels to Sha Tin to contest the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on December 11th.

Rebel Dane has been a strong and consistent performer for Portelli through his entire racing career so far, but appeared to have hit a peak in form when he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).

Having gone close at the highest level several times through his subsequent preparations, the California Dane entire was sent off a $61 chance in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) but defied his quote; leading from start to finish to post an impressive win.

Earning an invitation to the Hong Kong Sprint 2016 with the result, Portelli told AAP that he has no concerns about Rebel Dane handling the trip and is excited to have a runner lining up in one of the world’s showpiece short-course races.

“At the moment he is the best I’ve had him this deep into a preparation,” Portelli said.

“He’s vibrant and happy and has four sound joints which is always a plus.

“He’s done many trips to Melbourne and Brisbane on a float so I think a plane to Hong Kong will be much easier.

“There are no traffic lights or turns. It will be a breeze.”

Rebel Dane suffered from wind problems several times through his racing career, but Portelli believes his most recent operation has completely cured the ailment.

“He can breathe normally now and he turns up on race day,” Portelli said.

“And I’ve got no doubt the way we are training him has helped. He has gone over a few jumps and we’ve been taking him to the beach and the change of scenery has sharpened him up.

“He’s part of the furniture and I hate to think about the day he retires.

“I’d be happy to keep training him for another year.”

Rebel Dane has posted eight wins and a further nine minors, through a total of thirty-six career starts since making his competitive debut in the spring of 2012.

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