Australia Stakes: Dane back on track after interrupted week

It’s been a case of the best laid plans going astray for Gary Portelli as the trainer prepares Rebel Dane for his Australia Stakes mission.

The six-year-old’s schedule was interrupted when last Monday’s barrier trials at Warwick Farm were called off because of the lack of a transport ambulance.

Rebel Dane was slotted into a heat at Randwick on Tuesday with Portelli arranging to also give him a race day gallop at the track on Saturday.

But that went out the window after two days of heavy rain.

“I couldn’t gallop him because they put the track up a soft 7 in the morning and it has to be at least a soft 6,” Portelli said.

“They upgraded it after the first race but that was too late.

“He had a decent gallop at Warwick Farm in the morning and will have another one on Tuesday.

“That should be enough and he will go down to Melbourne on Thursday.”

The Group Two Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday will be Rebel Dane’s first start since his third behind Chautauqua and Srikandi in the Manikato Stakes at the track in October.

Like many of the horses he will race against, Rebel Dane will step up to Group One company in the C F Orr Stakes three weeks later followed in another two weeks by the Futurity Stakes.

Both races are over 1400m at Caulfield, the same course and distance as Rebel Dane’s biggest win in the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.


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