McAuliffe on a crusade
Darren McAuliffe.

Darren McAuliffe has elected not to run Fuchsia Bandana in September's Hannan's Handicap (1400m), but the Serpentine trainer will still be strongly represented in Kalgoorlie's premier sprint by Grand Crusade.

Grand Crusade won exemption from the ballot for last year's Hannan's when he foiled Adricat's bid for successive wins in the Kambalda Cup (1400m).

McAuliffe chose not to back up Grand Crusade 10 days later into the Hannan's, but the Trade Fair gelding was spelled after he pulled up lame when last behind Back To A Walk over 1200m at Belmont Park on September 28.

Grand Crusade is due to have his first gallop this time in at Lark Hill on Saturday in his comeback campaign.

Fuchsia Bandana was on a seven-day back-up when she notched her sixth win from 10 starts against older horses in a 72-plus 1300m handicap at Belmont last Saturday.

McAuliffe chose to run the daughter of Trade Fair against the older horses after she was weighted on 58kg in a 1000m three-year-old handicap on April 12.

The trainer believes Fuchsia Bandana is better suited in the fillies and mares' series of the Jungle Mist, Jungle Dawn, Starstruck and La Trice classics.

"She still has not won an open three-year-old race," McAuliffe said.

"We are teaching her to settle and she is getting the job done. I don't think she backed up week to week, so I won't try that again.

"There is a three-year-old mile for her on Saturday week. She is better saved for the fillies and mares' series where she is effective over 1200m and can run a strong mile."

McAuliffe had planned to have Express Service as a travelling companion for Grand Crusade in the Hannan's, but the four-year-old tore a hamstring yesterday.

He has Fairetha and Aquanita Stakes winner Rebelson on the comeback trail after a frustrating battle against a hoof abscess and virus. "His temperature went up to 40C and he was very sick for nine or 10 days," McAuliffe said.

"His coat was never right, but it now has the shine of a copper penny."

Rebelson's two-year-old half-brother, Rebel King, created a big impression when he blitzed his rivals by four lengths over 1000m at Belmont last Saturday.

Rebel King was the first winner for his sire Universal Ruler, who McAuliffe trained to win a Perth Stakes, Bunbury Stakes, Easter Stakes and Belmont Sprint.

McAuliffe scratched his three acceptors, Friarfighter, Field Of Valour and Oratism, from Albany tomorrow. The trio will run at Kalgoorlie on Sunday.

·Bob Peters will send Group 1 Queensland Derby winner Dariana to Pierro next stud season.

Peters paid $800,000 for the Redoute's Choice mare, who is in foal to Street Cry, on Monday.

"We are teaching her to settle and she is getting the job done. I don't think she backed up …""Fuchsia Bandana's trainer *Darren McAuliffe *

The West Australian

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