King eyes G1 crown
Rising hoop to partner with Lanciato in feature
LANCIATO and Rachel King know each other so well and tomorrow they’ll be fighting off 19 rivals to win the $1m Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
King has ridden the Mark Newnham-trained six-year-old five times including a creditable seventh placing in this year’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile in the autumn.
The duo are trying to win Randwick’s other big mile and will jump from barrier six, a draw which pleased King.
“I’m happy with the draw. I said to my partner (Blake Spriggs) that I’d be happy drawing anywhere between one and six and we got six so that’s a really good start,” King said.
Lanciato, who loves 1600m, has drawn barrier 10 at both runs this preparation which included a slashing fourth to Pierata in the Missile Stakes (1200m).
“He’ll be in the second half of the field, for sure. Drawing barrier six though might mean we can be in front of a couple,” she said. “We’ve been drawing out wide the last couple of races so hopefully this gives us a chance to be further forward.”
If they combine to win it will be the first ‘major’ of King’s career, just months after winning the champion apprentice title in Sydney.
“I’m more excited than nervous because we get along really well. He was my first Group winner (Newcastle Newmarket) and hopefully he can be first Group 1 winner,” she said.
Tomorrow, Newnham will also line up Nakeeta Jane in the Group 1 Flight Stakes where she is a $17 chance behind favourite Miss Fabulass after drawing gate nine with Josh Parr taking the ride.
Meanwhile, Greg Hickman feels star Pierro four-year-old Pierata will be peaking for the Epsom Handicap.
After finishing second to Kementari in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) autumn, the entire is a much more mature individual this preparation.
With Corey Brown back in the saddle, Pierata has drawn ideally in gate four in the Epsom.
“He hasn’t turned a hair from his last run and his work on Tuesday morning was A-plus,” Hickman said.
“He goes about his job with no fuss. He walks on the track happy and off it happy – he’s bombproof.
“He keeps getting stronger and this is the best chance we’ve had of winning at a mile so far,” he added.
Jockey Rachel King believes Lanciato will be right in the finish of tomorrow’s Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick. Pic: Grant Guy