Warwick Farm trainer Gary Portelli says California Dane four-year-old Rebel Dane (California Dane – Texacarna, by More Than Ready) could be the horse to end his search for a life-changing galloper after his wonderful first-up success in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Warwick Farm.
Rebel Dane won the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m)as a three-year-old before running a narrow second to star colt Pierro in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) in the autumn but showed he could be ready to elevate himself into the Group 1 ranks with his first-up performance.
Rebel Dane trialled impressively leading into the Show County Quality before beating a high-quality field in dominant fashion at his first outing since early April.
The entire settled midfield, three-wide with cover, for top jockey Glen Boss before the rider eased him four and five-deep rounding the home turn. Rebel Dane swept to the front at the 250 metres before justifying Boss’s trip to Sydney by going on to beat Title (Honours List – Claudia, by Al Jaasi) by 1-1/4 lengths while Norzita (Thorn Park – Visique, by Quest For Fame) charged late to grab third.
Portelli said Rebel Dane weakened his knees with his outstanding display with the Warwick Farm trainer noting the emerging sprinter could be the best horse he has trained.
“I feel like I need a chair right now, the legs are a bit wobbly,” he said.
“This is what you do it for. You get up at three o’clock every morning trying to find a good horse. Hopefully this bloke is the one we’ve been looking for.”
Boss said Portelli would have to test Rebel Dane in Group 1 races in his spring preparation but was confident the Laurel Oak Bloodstock homebred would measure up to the top races.
“He was the best horse in the race over this trip,” Boss said.
“He’s got that essential turn of foot that Group One sprinters have and he’s got a great attitude. Gary has just got to manage him now and keep him to sprints.”
Rebel Dane is one of three stakes winners for California Dane while he is the only Group winner for the stallion, who was a dual Group 2 winner himself in his racing days.