Gary Portelli is happy to let others take the limelight ahead of the Manikato Stakes but is looking to be centre stage after the race.
The Portelli-trained Rebel Dane finished fourth in a blanket finish to the Group One Moonee Valley sprint last year after suffering interference in an incident-packed race.
Since then, Rebel Dane has undergone throat surgery and his Group Two win in The Shorts and closing second to Terravista in the Premiere Stakes have his trainer convinced he is on his way back to his best.
Chautauqua and Exosphere head the Manikato market while there are doubts over last year’s winner Lankan Rupee following his failure in Saturday’s Schillaci Stakes.
“Rebel Dane raced well when he was choking down,” Portelli said.
“Now he’s back and able to breathe properly I think he can get back to the top level.
“In the Premiere he was three lengths behind Terravista at the top of the straight and ran him to a neck.
“The Manikato was a great race last year and this year looks like being the same but I think he is up to it.”
Joe Pride is equally happy with Terravista who beat Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee to win the 2014 Darley Classic after finishing a touch behind Rebel Dane in the Manikato.
“He is super. Three weeks between runs is ideal,” he said.
Portelli is also looking forward to Sebring Sun’s rematch with Exosphere should the Godolphin colt head to the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Sebring Sun finished third in the Group One Golden Rose in which Exosphere beat subsequent Flight Stakes winner Speak Fondly.
“He will have a barrier trial at Rosehill on Friday,” Portelli sadi.
“Then he will go to Melbourne and we’ll give him a look at the straight course at Flemington on the Tuesday before the race.
“He will just have one run in Melbourne because we want to get him ready for the Magic Millions Guineas in January.
“That’s a race worth four times as much as the Coolmore so I’d like to target that.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au