By Ray Hickson
There’s a distinction between hoping a horse will handle a heavy track and knowing they do and that’s the best way to describe how Rachel King can approach her second ride on Dio D’Oro at Randwick on Saturday.
The Gary Portelli-trained colt was a dominant first-up winner at his first attempt on a heavy track and King says that’s a big plus heading into the Living Turf Handicap (1200m).
“He's a very strong horse, very powerful, and it didn't feel like much of a heavy track on him,’’ she said.
“Hopefully it won't affect him again and we can see a similar performance.’’
Dio D’Oro had first use of the track two weeks ago and Punters Intel reveals he ran the fifth fastest last 600m of the day in 35.45 and easily the quickest of the 1000m race.
Dio D'Oro revels in the conditions to win first-up at Randwick on June 9
Sydney’s leading apprentice said she’s looking forward to see what the colt can do with an extra furlong and a run under his belt.
“He's a stocky, strong horse and he definitely will improve for the run,’’ she said.
“I was worried it could be a bit sharp for him but I think the 1200m will really suit him.’’
Dio D’Oro was the $4.40 TAB favourite on Thursday and King is also scheduled to partner another popular elect in the unbeaten Alassio ($3.80) in the SCG Trust Handicap (1400m).
However King said she has her doubts as to whether Alassio will appreciate a very heavy track and suspects she may be saved for a race at Rosehill on Saturday week.
“I do have concerns about a heavy track and the step up in distance on a heavy track,’’ she said.
“She's had two starts over 1100m and she jumps straight to 1400m. She copes with a soft track, I'm not 100 per cent sure on a really heavy track.
“Because she has that unbeaten record so far I'm sure everyone is keen to keep it going as long as possible.’’
Alassio made it three from three with an all the way win over on the Kensington track on June 11.
King has seven rides at Randwick and holds a five win lead in the apprentices premiership over Jean Van Overmeire, who can claim 2kg, with 11 metro meetings remaining this season.