Rising star Rebel Dane continued his unbeaten run with a brilliant win in the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday and now there are bigger fish to fry.
Rebel Dane remains unbeaten as he wins the Royal Sovereign, picture sportpix.com.au
The Gary Portelli-trained galloper came into Saturday’s race with three wins to his name but the step up to group 2 level always looked a step too far, at least at this stage, but now Portelli has his sights set on star galloper Pierro.
Ridden by Jason Collett, Rebel Dane jumped slowly and settled out the back of the field behind a slow tempo set by Casino Swoop (Brown).
Rounding the turn Collett was forced to circumnavigate the field and with the race not run to suit, it looked a near impossible task.
At the 300m Urquidez (N Berry) hit the lead and quickly looked the winner but Rebel Dane was winding up down the outside and coming home with a wet sail.
With a furlong left it looked like Rebel Dane was going to win but Urquidez kicked back with 100m to go.
Instead of giving up, Rebel Dane dug even deeper, visibly stretching his neck out to reel in the leader in the shadows of the post to score a super impressive win.
At the line, the margin was a head between the two with a length and three quarters to Taxmeifyoucan (Robl) in third. The overall time was 1.10.75 with the last 600m run in 34.14.
“He might be alright,” Portelli said. “What do you say, before the race we thought we would be outside the leader, so to be back running last and come around the whole field, this might be the best one I’ve had; fingers crossed.
“The (part)-owner (Louie has been a great backer of our stable over the years so it is great to see him with a good horse and hopefully we can do a good job for him.
“There are some big names to take from here, Pierro etc, and the way he raced today, if things go to plan, who knows.”
“It was a great feeling,” Collett said. “We had a couple of plans going into the race, plan A didn’t come off so we went to plan B and it was a big effort.
“He tries hard, he is unreal really, I don’t know if I have ridden a horse like him who just wants to win. I felt confident at the furlong but Nathan’s horse seem to kick back and I thought ‘here we go.’
“He is progressive and he has stepped up again today and I am proud of him, it is a big effort.”
Rebel Dane, picture sportpix.com.au
Rebel Dane is by California Dane out of the More Than Ready (USA) mare Texarcana and is owned by Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), J V Murphy, P M Kite, M W Powell, C J Baker, S J Lindley, R H Spee, T J Gleeson, N A Parbery, G Zivkovic, Lanista Thoroughbreds (Mgr: S Cook), Pardon (Mgr: K G Sheppard) & Simpson-Morgan (Mgr: G M Simpson-Morgan).