Rebel King returns in hot form
Darren McAuliffe.

Like most at the opening meeting of Belmont Park trainer Darren McAuliffe could not have been helped but to be blown away by the comeback win of Rebel King in today's Westspeed Nursery Handicap.

McAuliffe had headed to Lark Hill with the two-year-old with the view to give him a sharp hit-out when he blitzed his opposition by over 13 lengths in a 400m trial on April 22.

Punters today sent out Rebel King a red hot $1.80 favourite to demolish his rivals again and the gelding did just that running away to a four length win in the first race over the 1000m dash in the slick time of 57.81secs.

Jockey William Pike played with his rivals before putting his foot on the accelerator to speed away in the final stretch for a comfortable win.

Rebel King is by McAuliffe's former glamour sprinter Universal Ruler, who stands alongside WA's premier stallion Blackfriars at Scenic Lodge at Bullsbrook, from the Falbrav mare Rebel Sister.

Sass "N" GLam ($9) did a good job to finish second with another Universal Ruler youngster Universal King ($17) running third another 1 1/4 lengths behind.

Rebel King is a half-brother to McAuliffe's three-year-old stakes-winner Rebelson.

McAuliffe claimed a short-priced double when his talented filly Fuchsia Bandana ($1.75) landed week-to-week wins in the Perth Racing Members Handicap (1300m).

Rebel King debuted on February 1 with a third over 1000m before McAliffe jumped the gelding into top class when running eighth to Cadenza in the Magic Million 2YO Classic (1100m) 15 days later.

Fuchsia Bandana has been a model of consistency, claiming six wins and three placings from her 10 starts.

The Trade Fair filly received 2.5kg weight relief on her previous start (54.5kg) for stepping out against older thoroughbreds in today's 72 plus benchmark.

She gave Pike his third win in the first four races when she shot past he Kalgoorlie winner Prince Of Stars inside the 200m to pull away to a 3/4 length win from Carry The Nation ($13) and Heavy Set ($13), who both ran home strongly to grab the minor ends of the trifecta.

Prince Of Stars ($5.50) held out an unlucky Need A Lift ($8) for fourth place.

While McAuliffe was confident about Fuchsia Bandana's ability to be a weight carrier in the future he was not convinced she was a filly who backed up well.

"She is in good form and going through her classes," McAuliffe said. "She had a good drop today, but I'm not convinced that weight bothers this filly.

"I thought she might have won a little easier than that to be truthful.

"May be she does not back up.

"I probably would not back her up again unless I had to.

"There is a race for her over a mile in a fortnight.

"Whether she goes there I will wait and see. This might be her done and dusted.

"Ben Kennedy has done all of the work on her but he was suspended today."

Pike's other winner was on Zedfire Express who won the second race over 1000m in 58.15secs.
Zedfire Express was well fancied at $4.60 in an open betting race, before blazing away to 2 1/4 length win over
Seul Homme ($13) and You Will Be Queen ($4.80).

The $4 favourite Onadowntowntrain finished second last, but racecourse vets found the three-year-old had a heart fibrillation.

The West Australian

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