Rebel win a tonic for firefighting Clarke

Mandy Cottell
Aaron Clarke ended an eventful 24 hours when Run Like A Rebel won the Highway Handicap at Rosehill

Trainer Aaron Clarke was unsure if he would make it to Rosehill after an anxious night guarding his Braidwood stables from a bush fire threat.

But thanks to a timely wind change, his stables were spared and Clarke was able find safe passage through the bush fire zone to travel to Sydney on Saturday with Run Like A Rebel.

The horse then delivered the perfect tonic with a Highway Handicap (1200m) win.

"We were worried about getting through but we were pretty lucky and I know most of the blokes that work down there so we got through," Clarke said.

"I was sitting in the stables until about twelve o'clock and then getting up this morning but anyway, we got here.

"The fire only got about a kilometre from the stable. It was pretty hairy.

"It nearly jumped back but the wind just changed and it helped us out a lot."

Run Like A Rebel ($9) gave Clarke his first Highway Handicap win and first city victory since Romance Can Costa scored at Canterbury in July last year.

Ridden by apprentice Mikayla Weir, the mare held on by a short half-head over Eurosay ($21) with top weight Greenspan ($51) another 1-1/2 lengths away.

Clarke said his luck was starting to turn after a quiet period for the stable.

"We had a good crew a few years ago and had some nice horses but then we went through a rough patch with not many," Clarke said.

"We're just starting to get a few nice ones and have a bit of luck."

The Highway Handicap was split into two divisions on Saturday to cater for the large number of nominations.

The other edition was won by the Mitchell Beer-trained favourite Princess Cordelia, who showed her rivals a clean pair of heels under Tim Clark.