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Portelli eyes another G1 with Rebel Dane

As he gears up for the Golden Slipper with two live chances, trainer Gary Portelli is also looking ahead with established Group One stable star Rebel Dane.

Portelli will saddle up second favourite She Will Reign and Saturday’s Pago Pago Stakes winner Single Bullet in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m).

The trainer was resigned to missing most of the autumn with Rebel Dane after taking him to Hong Kong for the International Sprint in December.

But the seven-year-old has recovered much quicker than he expected and will be set for the Group One William Reid Stakes on March 24 at Moonee Valley, the scene of his Manikato Stakes win.

“He has done so well and come up quicker than we thought after Hong Kong,” Portelli said.

“He’s put on weight and is really thriving and ready to go.

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

Ben Melham rode Rebel Dane when he added the Manikato to his Group One win in the 2013 Rupert Clarke Stakes and is also the rider of She Will Reign who has been displaced as favourite for the Slipper by Magic Millions winner Houtzen.

Tye Angland, who rode Single Bullet to his qualifying win in the Pago Pago, sticks with the colt in Saturday’s Slipper.

Single Bullet was originally bought with the Magic Millions in mind but missed a start when he ran second at Warwick Farm a week out from the $2 million race at the Gold Coast.

Portelli believes missing the race has allowed the colt to mature.

“I’ve had quite a few runners in the Slipper but this time we have genuine chances,” he said.

“It will be an exciting week leading up to it.”

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