By Ray Hickson
If Rachel King is to be crowned Sydney’s champion apprentice this season she knows she’ll have to do it the hard way – without a claim.
And with only three wins remaining before King loses her 1.5kg claim it’s good practice for life post-apprenticeship as she also becomes a senior rider in August.
“The more momentum I can get up before I lose that claim the better and hopefully I can keep the ball rolling,’’ King said.
“I’m under no illusion, it’s going to be hard. I’ve been lucky so far, trainers have supported me really well.
“Gai and Adrian have said they will keep supporting me so that’s a big help. I’d love to be able to keep riding in the city but I’m not making any big plans at the moment and I’ll see how I go.’’
We’re about at the half way mark of the season and, with 23 wins, the 27-year-old holds a 10 win lead over Blaike McDougall (13, claims 2kg), Jean Van Overmeire (12, claims 3kg) and Andrew Adkins (11, claims 1.5kg).
King’s leading chance to notch another winner this weekend is the in-form Lanciato in the Listed $150,000 Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
She had her first ride on the Mark Newnham-trained five-year-old at Randwick three weeks ago and said he felt awesome as he rounded up a handy field to win.
“He was very impressive and I think Mark has perfected his pattern of racing and how he needs a bit of time between his races,’’ she said.
“It is a step up but I have a lot of respect for Mark as a trainer, he knows his horses very well. He’s confident the horse can step up and that gives me confidence as well.’’
Lanciato was the only horse in his race to break 35 seconds (Punters Intel: 34.27) in winning at Randwick with a zooming 11.76 last 200m.
He opened favourite with TAB at $3.50 for the Carrington but a wave of support for import George Patton saw him deposed as top pick and was a $3.60 chance on Thursday.
Lanciato's impressive second-up win at Randwick on January 6
King, who has won two Listed races to date, said barrier one isn’t a huge advantage for Lanciato but it might mean he’s able to save a length or two by just holding his ground.
“From one we probably won’t have to come back to last so it gives me a few more options, we might be able to be that little bit closer without doing any work,’’ she said.
“If he can show that turn of foot like he did last start he will be competitive for sure.’’
Rachel King’s comments on some of her other Rosehill rides:
Grande Punto ($15, race 5): “He ran really well last time, every week we’re just praying for rain every time for him. Once he gets that cut out of the ground he’s going to be hard to beat.
“He was a little keen last start but there’s a bit more speed in the race on Saturday he might get a chance to relax.’’
No Interest ($10, race 6): “She was straight into a Listed race the other day and she didn’t get beaten far. Rosehill will suit her a lot better than Gosford, she ran super because she always takes improvement out of her first run.
“She gave me the impression she’s really matured and she was happy to settle straight away which is going to give her every chance.’’