Fireburn puts blow torch to her rivals

Rebel Dane was a success story for Gary Portelli as a racehorse, and he is proving just as handy an influence on the stable as a stallion.

Portelli has had two runners by the dual Group 1 victor and both are winners – Rebel Shadow, who scored at Canterbury in November, and two-year-old Fireburn, a strong winner of the TAB Supports National Jockeys Trust Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The trainer has a good opinion of the filly and while he is unsure if she will be suited by a Golden Slipper campaign, he is certain she has a bright future.

“I don’t think we will be heading to the big two-year-old races at this stage, unless she does something next start that suggests she might,” Portelli said.

“We will keep her going over summer, make hay while the sun shines.

“But I have no doubt she will make a lovely miler at three. She might be a Flight Stakes filly.”

Fireburn ($4.80) finished fourth on debut over 1100m at Warwick Farm when she sustained a long run and she appreciated a distance rise on Saturday, camping off the speed and overpowering the leaders to defeat Uncorked ($3.20) by 1-3/4 lengths.

Himalaism ($3 fav) was another long neck away.

Portelli was impressed by the filly’s debut effort and felt it was a portent of things to come.

“The writing was on the wall, I thought, and she has done a good job since,” Portelli said.

“She is a natural. She has got a big motor, a beautiful stride on her. You watch her walk and she has just got this beautiful walk. And she can gallop.”

Winning jockey Jason Collett was likewise taken by Fireburn’s performance and said while she was wound up before the race, she relaxed nicely once the gates opened.

“She is a natural. She knows how to run but it was important she knew how to do it right, so I took a sit,” Collett said.

“She came back underneath me well then it was just the matter of going through her gears.”

Portelli is having a great season with his juveniles having also produced exciting colt Sejardan to win the Breeders’ Plate and Golden Gift.

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