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Portelli and Melham back with Rebel Dane

Jockey Ben Melham rides She Will Reign win
Trainer Gary Portelli and jockey Ben Melham will combine in another Group One race with Rebel Dane.

The Golden Slipper-winning team of trainer Gary Portelli and jockey Ben Melham will be back in action at Moonee Valley trying for a second Group One victory within a week.

Rebel Dane, the horse who sparked the association between the Warwick Farm based Portelli and Melbourne rider Melham, will run in Friday night’s William Reid Stakes (1200m).

The race is over the same distance at the track where Rebel Dane won the Manikato Stakes in the spring.

Melham rode him to that win which led to him combining with She Will Reign, a brilliant winner of Saturday’s $3.5 million Golden Slipper at Rosehill.

“Rebel Dane took a shorter time to get over his trip to Hong Kong than we thought he would and he’s ready to go,” Portelli said.

“He likes Moonee Valley and it looks like a good race for him.”

The seven-year-old’s Manikato win at his fourth attempt at the race earned Rebel Dane an invitation to the International Sprint at Sha Tin in December but he failed to run a place.

He ran second in a barrier trial earlier this month and convinced Portelli he was ready to begin what will be his last campaign before he is retired with his Manikato win prompting interest from studs.

She Will Reign will now be given a break with the spring in mind.

“She has been up a long time,” Portelli said.

“She was up and running in December and then up again for the Slipper,.”

She Will Reign beat the Michael Freedman-trained Frolic to win Saturday’s $3.5 million Slipper by 2-1/4 lengths, the same margin Frolic beat her by in the Reisling Stakes.

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