Portelli hopeful despite Rebel Dane's draw
Mathew Toogood
05:45 AEST Thu Sep 26 2013

Trainer Gary Portelli is looking on the bright side of a seemingly adverse barrier draw for stable star Rebel Dane in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on Sunday.

Rebel Dane came up with barrier 16 for the 1400m handicap at Caulfield in a capacity field of 18.

The sprinter, who has won twice at Group level and stretched Pierro in the Hobartville Stakes in the autumn, is aiming to win at Group One level for the first time.

Portelli said the barrier wasn't ideal for Rebel Dane but is hoping for a Glen Boss special on the exciting galloper.

"We didn't want it (barrier 16) but we've got a top jockey on and he will work it out," Portelli said.

"Hopefully we might get some rain and that might help."

Rebel Dane was fourth in his first Melbourne start down the straight in the Group Three Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington and got his first look at Caulfield on Tuesday morning in a pleasing gallop.

"I just sent out a tweet that Rebel Dane worked out wide on Tuesday morning and maybe that will help him," Portelli quipped.

Despite the wide draw, Rebel Dane was installed favourite at $4.80 first markets ahead of the Peter Moody-trained Strawberry Boy ($7) and Queenslander Solzhenitsyn ($8).

Strawberry Boy is one of three Peter Moody-trained runners in the race along with Lidari and Thy.

Moody won the race last year with Moment Of Change.

Topweight Linton resumes for his first start since flashing along the fence to win the Group One Stradbroke Handicap over the same distance in Brisbane in June.

Trainer Jim Conlan has Australian Guineas winner Ferlax chasing his second win at the highest level and he goes into the Sir Rupert Clarke on the back of a runner-up performance behind Atlantic Jewel over the same course and distance in the Memsie Stakes four weeks ago.

The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes is the main race on the Caulfield card which also features the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m).

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