By Ray Hickson
Jockey Rachel King is an unabashed fan of promising Godolphin sprinter Deprive.
It’s easy to see why after they paired up for a dramatic and visually stunning victory at Randwick last month and King will again have the best seat in the house in Saturday’s Listed $150,000 June Stakes (1100m).
“He’s got something special. He definitely made a lasting impression,’’ King said.
Deprive made an impression on the clock when he stole the At Sea Handicap from Heart Conquered over the same course they face on Saturday, with Punter’s Intelligence sectional data revealing he broke 11 seconds for every 200m split.
His last 600m of 32.76 was about four and a half lengths quicker than any of his opposition.
Although Deprive looked in trouble, with a wall ahead of him, King said she was always confident the gelding would prevail.
“I was praying a gap would appear at some point but I could feel I had so much horse under me I knew all I had to do was give him some clear air and he would explode,’’ she said.
“I just needed to do my job and give him a bit of luck and he did the rest.’’
There’ll be plenty of punters out there pinning their hopes on Deprive, the $2.10 TAB favourite, in the June Stakes and King says she’s not going to complicate the job by changing too much.
The James Cummings-trained four-year-old has a more favourable draw but she said the most important thing is to put Deprive where he wants to be in the run.
“If that happens to be back last again then so be it, if he’s in front a few then it makes it a bit easier,’’ she said.
“He’s a horse that is very talented but is still quite raw. The first half of the race is about relaxing and getting in a good rhythm then he will always finish off strongly.’’
It’s a full book of nine rides for King at Randwick and she’s keen to continue her association with John Sargent’s staying three-year-old Think It Over in the Bradley Photographers Handicap (1800m).
Think It Over ($6.50) chased home Queensland Derby favourite Nobu last start in running third and King said ensuring he settles is very important to his chances.
“He coped really well last time stepping straight from the mile to 2000m,’’ she said.
“He took a little longer than ideal to relax but he finished off really well. Every time he goes to the races he keeps maturing.
“He has a fairly good turn of foot for a stayer and hopefully coming back to 1800m they’ll go that little bit faster and it will help him relax.’’
Deprive's impressive first-up win at Randwick on May 25
Among her other rides King said Brad Widdup’s two-year-old filly Switched ($7, Winter Racing Handicap) impressed in winning at Kembla on debut while she’s hopeful Gary Portelli has Dio D’Oro ($6.50, Tab.com.au Handicap) back on track.
On Switched: “She was just too good for them (at Kembla), I only rode her out hands and heels and never asked any serious questions. Hopefully she has plenty left there and she is going to need that stepping up in class. The way she won you’d expect she will be able to take that jump up.’’
On Dio D’Oro: “I’ve been galloping him and he feels great, the best I’ve felt him for a long time. Hopefully everything transfers to race day, he’s been a really good horse to me and it’d be nice to get him back to his best form.’’