Australia: Rebel Dane stuns rivals as Chautauqua flops

Rebel Dane wins Manikato Stakes

PICTURE: Getty Images Rebel Dane stuns rivals as Chautauqua flops By Mark Scully in Melbourne 11:45AM 21 OCT 2016

Report: Australia, Friday

Moonee Valley: William Hill Manikato Stakes (Group 1) 6f, turf, 3yo+

REBEL DANE scored a phenomenal upset as he went two places better than last year's renewal to win, with hot favourite Chautauqua a bitterly disappointing seventh.

All of the pre-race talk had been of last year's hero Chautauqua and his bid to become only the sixth two-time winner of the richest night race in Australia.

But it was Rebel Dane who stole the show, scooting up the far rail having raced in midfield to defeat Fell Swoop by a quarter of a length and land a stunning 60-1 success.

Trainer Gary Portelli insisted he had never lost faith in the seven-year-old entire but did admit he would have been happy with the top five finish too.

"There's hope for us all, isn't there?," he said. "It's been a great team effort by our staff. We've been taking him down to the beach, putting him over some hurdles, just trying to break things up for him.

"I knew he had this in him and when he ran so well at Randwick last time, I said we had to have a go at this race and here we are in the winner's circle."

He added: "I have to thank his owners for leaving him in training with us. We were confident we had him right and just hoped he could get a bit of luck."

Chautauqua inquest begins

While Rebel Dane stole the spotlight, the post-race focus is on Chautauqua, who took up his usual position towards the back of the field but could not produce the blistering turn of foot that has made him the world's highest-rated sprinter.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn could not hide his disappointment and said the grey has not felt like the same horse during his spring campaign.

"That was very disappointing," he said. "He is obviously not showing us what we know he can do.

"Horses were passing us inside the final furlong and that never happens to him."

End of the road for Buffering

The race also marked the end of the incredible career of Buffering, with Robert Heathcote announcing his retirement after the nine-year-old could manage only sixth.

A seven-time Group 1 winner, Buffering boasts a remarkable record at the highest level during a career that saw him compete against the great Black Caviar.

"What a journey he's taken us on," said Heathcote. "Damian [Browne, jockey] had tears in his eyes when he came back in and told us that was it.

"This is a fitting time for us to say farewell to a champ. He's brought a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people."

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