Fireburn on trial for autumn carnival

Never the most striking horse in Gary Portelli’s stable, the ability of dual Group 1 winner Rebel Dane belied his plain looks, and his juvenile daughter Fireburn is proving to be in a similar mould.

The two-year-old will be Portelli’s lone runner in the opening race at Randwick on Saturday following the scratching of stablemate Snitcat due to an awkward draw.

Portelli has a healthy opinion of Fireburn and says like Rebel Dane, she is not the most striking horse on type, but she has talent.

“Rebel Dane was a bit of a funny looking horse. He was lightly-framed and he was a beautiful horse under saddle, but take the saddle off and there was just nothing you could pick that would make you think this was a Group One horse,” Portelli said.

“From what I have seen of his stock…. there have only been a few to race and he has got a huge strikerate.

“They are just athletes. Don’t even worry what they look like, they all run.”

Fireburn finished fourth over 1100 metres on debut at Warwick Farm earlier this month, beaten less than a length by California Deeply after she was forced to make a long run.

She still hit the line with gusto and Portelli can’t wait to see her extend to 1200 metres in Saturday’s TAB Supports National Jockeys Trust Handicap.

A $6.50 chance in opening markets, Fireburn will be on trial to join Portelli’s autumn carnival team.

“We thought the 1200 would suit her, she is rock-hard fit now and she goes to a race that is very winnable,” Portelli said.

“I’m using this as the fork in the road. This will tell us which way we are going.”

Jason Collett has the mount on Fireburn, who has drawn barrier four.

Snitcat, who has not raced since finishing fifth to stablemate Sejardan in the Golden Gift in November, will trial at Warwick Farm on Thursday.

She will return at the Boxing Day meeting at Randwick ahead of a possible trip to Queensland for next month’s Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast.

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