Trainer Gary Portelli has Rebel Dane ready to go to the races but admits his early season targets will not be easy.
New jockey Tommy Berry gave Rebel Dane a work-out between races at Rosehill on Saturday to get him ready for his first-up assignment in the Missile Stakes.
Saturday’s Group Two sprint will also feature the return of Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and it doesn’t get any easier after that.
“He takes on Capitalist in his first start and then gets to take on Winx in the Warwick Stakes,” Portelli said.
“There really aren’t any other races for him early in the season so that’s the way it is.
“He’s at 505 kilos which is the heaviest I’ve ever had him at the start of a preparation and is in great physical condition.
“I don’t think he could be any better.”
Rebel Dane covered the last 600m of Saturday’s 1000m gallop in a slick 33.07 seconds.
The winner of the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Rebel Dane is likely to go to Melbourne again this spring with the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth also an option.
The entire has won almost $1.7 million but has not won a Group One race since the Rupert Clarke.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist gets into the weight-for-age race with just 51.5kg with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
He will be joined by new stablemate Tycoon Tara, a dual Group Three winner in Victoria.
Tycoon Tara ran fourth in an 850m barrier trial on Friday won by Capitalist.
Another stablemate, Mediterranean, will run in the first stakes race for the newly turned three-year-olds, the Listed Rosebud (1200m).
Mediterranean also won a barrier trial on Friday.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au