Rebel King reigns supreme
Champion jockey William Pike claimed his maiden Mungrup Stud Sprint (1300m) when Rebel King powered to the line to win the $100,000 feature race at Mt Barker Turf Club on Sunday.
Pike, who had never won the region’s richest sprint race race, guided the five-year-old bay gelding past local fancy $3.30 favourite Dream Lifter to notch an historic victory.
The Darren McAuliffe-trained Rebel King $4.80 chance shot home from seventh on the turn to overcome Dream Lifter in the closing stages to win by a length with Red Ora in third.
The Perth jockey said he was delighted to have won the race finally. “I’m very pleased and happy to be able to get the result here,” he said. “I’ve had a few really good rides in it (Mungrup Stud) before and haven’t really featured that well. So to get the win was very nice and very satisfying for me.”
Pike said he had been unsure how Rebel King would fare.
“He’d been a smidge unlucky in his lead-up runs and I wasn’t quite sure of where he was at,” he said
“But one thing’s for sure — the light weight and a little more ground was exactly what he wanted.”
The star WA hoop said he had to work hard to overcome Dream Lifter.
“To Dream Lifter’s credit, he fought really hard — I thought I had him beat a lot earlier than I did,” he said. “I loomed up strong and Dream Lifter kicked real hard.
“He’s a very nice horse.
“All credit to him in defeat.
“Today it was a matter of keeping him balanced and keeping him interested so he didn’t lose focus of his job.”
McAuliffe stable foreman Brian McAuliffe said Rebel King’s previous results were misleading.
“He was unlucky in his previous races — we were pretty confident going into the race,” he said.
“We drew barrier five and everything went to plan, so it was a great result for us.”
Strangely, Pike began a 19-day suspension on Monday for careless riding on Dainty Tess at Ascot last Saturday.
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