Rebel Dane locked in for Missile Stakes

Sydney’s persistent rain has punters awash with speculation over whether Capitalist will run in the Missile Stakes.

But Group One-winning rival Rebel Dane’s presence is certain.

Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden are waiting until Saturday morning to decide whether Golden Slipper Capitalist will run in the Group Two weight-for-age race at Randwick.

Rebel Dane’s trainer Gary Portelli has already made his call by emphatically ruling out scratching the horse in the event of a heavy track on Saturday.

“We’re running – it’s as simple as that,” Portelli said.

Rebel Dane has not raced on a heavy track since he was runner-up in the 2014 TJ Smith Stakes behind Lankan Rupee who was then at the peak of his powers.

At his other start in heavy going Rebel Dane was narrowly defeated by Pierro in the Group Two Hobartville Stakes when the two were three-year-olds.

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Despite those statistics, Portelli believes a heavy surface is not ideal for Rebel Dane.

“I think he’s better on top of the ground but it’s certainly not going to worry us,” Portelli said.

Rebel Dane is gearing up for a long campaign which is likely to include Melbourne in the spring and possibly the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth.

Portelli is mindful of how a trying first-up run could affect the horse, but says the seven-year-old needs to take every chance he can to add to his career tally of seven wins.

“We’re just out to try to win a race and from here on it’s going to get even harder,” he said.

Capitalist coming out of the race would certainly help his cause, Portelli says.

If the two horses do face off on Saturday, Capitalist will have a seven kilogram weight advantage on Rebel Dane.

The three-year-old is odds-on to beat the older horses with Rebel Dane his closest market rival at $4.60.

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