By Ray Hickson
He used to be the guy that rode a Group 1 winner before they were a Group 1 winner but times are changing for Jason Collett.
The likes of Terravista, Rebel Dane, Kirramosa come to mind as horses Collett was associated with early before being replaced on the big days but he also rode the most famous of them all - partnering Winx to her first two victories.
Collett already has a TAB Everest ride in the bag after guiding Group 1 winner Gytrash to that stunning Concorde Stakes win last weekend and is out to be giant killer again with his first ride on dual Group 1 winner King’s Legacy at Rosehill on Saturday.
It’ll certainly be a bigger upset if King’s Legacy can outsprint a crack field in the Group 2 $200,000 De Bortoli Wines Run To The Rose (1200m) but Collett said the colt is there to run very well.
“He’s a beautiful animal, they’ll probably be too sharp for him at 1200m but as long as he is running on strongly late that will be a pass mark,’’ Collett said.
“I galloped him on Tuesday and I don’t think fitness will be an issue.”
Unlike with Gytrash, who was second favourite and considered the main danger in the Concorde, King’s Legacy is a $19 chance in the Run To The Rose and few are fearing him over the sprint trip.
The Snowden stable has given King’s Legacy a good grounding for his first-up run since claiming his Group 1 double of the Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes in the autumn.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden told Sky Racing the colt is very well in himself and is expecting him to kick off his campaign in a positive manner.
"He's prepped up lovely for his race return on Saturday and whatever he does he's going to improve on throughout the preparation leading up to seven furlongs and a mile,'' Snowden said.
"He's done a fair bit of work and is definitely going to be more than compeititve there. We're just hoping to get a dry enough track and if horses can get home from the back of the field it will help his chances."
With a couple of opportunities to acquaint himself with the colt in the bag, a trial and some trackwork, Collett said he’s impressed and like most expects him to excel beyond this return run.
He’s hoping to retain the ride for the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in two weeks.
“He’s classy, he is what I expected,’’ he said.
“He’s not overly big but he’s big enough and he feels like, although he is up and going and ready for 1200m, the mile is going to be his best distance.”
Collett was enthused by the return of Attorney last month and is hoping his judgment is right when they step out in the Cleanaway Handicap (1800m).
Attorney hit the line strongly into second place behind Frosty Rocks over 1600m three weeks ago, running 34.69 (Punter's Intelligence) for his last 600m, and Collett advised trainer Matt Smith not to go straight to 2000m for his next run.
“I thought 1800m would be a better step than going up to 10 furlongs,’’ he said.
“His sectionals were really good. He’d been falling out the back in races and not really taking part but he began well the other day albeit racing in the second half of the field.
King's Lecgacy's latest trial at Randwick on August 25
“He got a bump between runners but he came back and was strong through the line.”
Among his other rides Collett said Bazooka has been underestimated ahead of the Drinkwise Dulcify Quality (1500m) after a couple of seconds behind smart colts North Pacfic and Holyfield.
There’s a chance he could bump into another emerging talent in Mo’unga, if that horse lives up to the hype around him, but said Bazooka ($14) showed last time he’s not just a wet tracker and deserves respect.
“He’s going really well, he performed on a good surface at his last run which was great because a lot of his form was on the heavy,’’ he said.
“He should have been beaten by Overlord but came back and toughed it out for second. That race was dictated by the winner but he was taking ground off him late.”