Included amongst a list of 19 talented hopefuls for this weekend’s Group 2 on Monday, trainer Gary Portelli has confirmed Group 1 champion Rebel Dane will not take his position in the Tramway Handicap (1400m) after pulling up sore following an impressive track gallop on Tuesday morning.
A notable performer over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Rebel Dane was removed from the final field of last weekend’s featured Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield as a result of a rain-soaked track, and appeared primed for a successful tilt at the Tramway Handicap after completing several strong pieces of work.
Understandably disappointed in being forced to remove the California Dane entire from the Tramway Handicap final field, Portelli said Rebel Dane appeared fine upon loading into his box following Tuesday’s gallop and is yet to decide on an alternate path through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“Blake (Shinn) said he had that fantastic acceleration at the end of his work and that he felt enormous,” Portelli told TVN.
“I was really happy with him and when he was being put into his box, one of the staff noticed he put in a couple of ordinary strides in.
“I got him out and trotted him up and he was just popping off a bit.
“Rather than muck anyone around or try to patch him up, I’m going to fix it once and for all.
“I’ll worry about the program once I get it right. It might come good in a week or it might be a month.”
Securing an impressive total of six wins and three minor places from just seventeen competitive starts so far, Rebel Dane has been a standout from his very first racing preparation; winning each of his first four starts including the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) and finishing a credible fourth in the 2013 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), in what was his maiden tilt at the highest level of Australian racing.
Returning in the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival in arguably career-best form to date, the stallion out of Texarcana won the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) first-up and continued to build in form and class on his way to an impressive victory in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 29th.
Finishing second to the world’s leading sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) first-up this year, Rebel Dane appears to have returned to the track in great form this time in; running on for third in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) in what was his first appearance on course since returning from the paddock on August 9th.
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