Third-time lucky for Rebel King
In the past six weeks, there has been plenty of hype around the return of Rebel King for the Impressive Racing team.
The first-up run was surrounded with plenty of excitement as he met the inform Sheidel over 1000 metres in a 78+.
The king had no luck throughout the early stages of the race and although eventually getting out late and rattling home, he fell just short to finish the race in second position.
Three weeks later he returned to the track as a hot favourite, but again had no luck through the early stages and was forced to race wide.
This was the difference in the end as Dueton snuck through on the rail to win by a short-half-head after having a very cushy run throughout the race.
So on the weekend, the excitement that had been present for his two previous runs, was also met with anxiety and nerves for some of the connections, as Rebel King was backed into the $1.70 favourite on track.
The nerves and anxiety were also present on the face of young apprentice Chloe Azzopardi who’d been trusted by trainer Darren McAuliffe to get the job done for him.
Azzopardi has been riding well in recent weeks and has been rewarded with consistent rides for the Impressive Racing stable in which she has impressed on the likes of Queen Of Tease and Fo’ Shizzle.
From barrier 4, it was essential that Azzopardi was able to get Rebel King away quickly and into a good position through the early stages.
She did exactly that and looked as though she was going to be sitting one-out-one-back, however Modello jumped out to the right and with that forced Azzopardi wide which allowed other runners to sneak through on the inside.
It was a familiar site for connections of Rebel King as he sat three-wide approaching the top of the straight.
Azzopardi remained calm and sat nicely on Rebel King as they straightened for home at the top of the straight. Kicking up nicely, he went past Blacksmith and hit the front inside the final 200 metres.
With only 52kg on his back, the favourite did it with ease over the final stages and was able to win by 2 ¼ lengths.
Speaking after the race, connections of Rebel King all mentioned the nerves that were present on race day, but also alluded to the hard work that had been done by trainer Darren McAuliffe and his staff.
Azzopardi thanked Darren and Impressive Racing for her opportunities in recent weeks and hoped that she could continue to be someone that they relied on as the racing heats up at Belmont Park this season.