Rebel Raider to be aimed at Sydney classic
By Caryl Williamson
SYDNEY, Dec 28 AAP - Victoria Derby winner Rebel Raider is well into his preparation aimed at adding the Sydney autumn classic to his surprise spring victory.
The Leon Macdonald-trained colt caused a major upset at Flemington on November 1 when he scored a dominant victory over odds-on favourite Whobegotyou in the Derby (2500m) on November 1.
Although he started at 100-1, his victory was more popular than that suggested with his jockey Clare Lindop celebrated as the first woman to ride a Derby winner in Australia.
Macdonald doesn't expect him to be that price again after showing superior staying ability and is pleased with his progress since he has been back in his Adelaide stable,
"He has been back in work for three weeks and we are ready to step up his preparation," Macdonald said.
"He only had a month in the paddock. Obviously we would rather have had six weeks but he needs to be back to get ready for the autumn races.
"He isn't a big horse and he is very clean winded so he has come back in good health.
"He will run in Adelaide first-up then maybe go to the Australian Guineas at Flemington before heading to Sydney for the Randwick Guineas, the Rosehill Guineas and the Derby."
Macdonald said Rebel Raider would start off in the Listed H C Nitschke Stakes (1450m) metres at Cheltenham on February 21 and then a decision would be made on the Guineas (1600m) on March 7.
The Group One Randwick Guineas is on March 14 followed by the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 28 and the AJC Australian Derby (2400m) two weeks later.
On his first trip to Sydney in 1998, Macdonald claimed the Derby with Gold Guru who also won the Australian Guineas when it was run over 2000 metres.
In between he beat Might And Power in the weight-for-age Ranvet Stakes and ran second to the champion in the BMW.
Rebel Raider is a son of Reset, winner of the 2004 Australian Guineas and Futurity Stakes.
Macdonald also has plans to bring Rebel Raider's stablemates Augusta Proud and Impressive Eagle to Sydney for some of the rich three-year-old fillies races while Group One winner Serious Speed will stay at home to be aimed at the Robert Sangster Stakes.
AAP TURF cw