Rebel Dane ready to go in 2016 Australia Stakes Field

Rebel Dane has had a faultless preparation leading into the Australia Stakes and trainer Gary Portelli is now banking on the classy sprinter getting even luck in the Group Two race at Moonee Valley.

Rebel Dane has performed admirably in Group One races at the track without winning and will be striving for his first win at the unique circuit at his sixth attempt.

He has finished third in two Group One races at the Valley – the 2014 Moir Stakes and 2015 Manikato Stakes – and was one of the horses in a blanket finish to the memorable 2014 Manikato when a close fourth.

Rebel Dane arrived in Melbourne on Friday morning after travelling overnight from Sydney and Portelli is convinced the six-year-old is the horse to beat on Saturday.

“There’s some different form lines and we’ve never raced against these horses before, so it’s going to be interesting how the race unfolds,” Portelli said.

“It looks a drop back in grade for him from what he’s been racing against and on paper he looks like he should be the horse they all have to beat.

“The only concern I’ve got is that it is the Valley and it’s a tricky track.

“It’s all about sectionals, and if you get to the turn and you’re too far off them or you’re held up for a run, it’s only got to be three strides and it can be all over for you.

“You really need that luck and things to go to plan.”

Rebel Dane is the $3.20 favourite to begin his campaign on a winning note with Portelli saying he had travelled well and his build-up had been faultless.

“Every time he’s worked, he’s worked well and he’s doing everything we’ve asked of him,” he said.

“If he has any luck at all and he reproduces his best runs you’d expect he should be able to win.”

Portelli said they decided to have Rebel Dane up and going early in the new year with a view to landing another 1400m-Group One win at Caulfield next month.

Rebel Dane won the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at the track with C F Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes on his program.


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