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American Hall of Fame jockey Johnny Velazquez will ride King’s Troop in the Magic Millions Sprint and stablemate With Pride if she gets a run in the maiden at the Gold Coast.

Trainer Gerald Ryan said he was now confident King’s Troop would gain a start in Saturday’s $1 million Sprint after fearing he would miss out when he was beaten at Randwick.

Twice runner-up subsequent Group One winner Japonisme in the winter, King’s Troop ran fourth over 1000 metres on Boxing Day with Ryan believing the rain-affected track hindered the colt.

“Looking at the entries I think he will get a run and Johnny Velazquez will ride him,” Ryan said.

“If With Pride can get into the maiden he will also ride her.”

Velazquez is making his first visit to Australia to be a part of Magic Millions week which includes the yearling sales and Saturday’s $10 million race meeting.

He and US trainer Graham Motion will help promote the first Australian yearlings by Animal Kingdom to go through the sale ring.

Velasquez rode the Motion-trained Animal Kingdom to win the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

Animal Kingdom, who also won the 2013 Dubai World Cup, stands at John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud in Australia and at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Kentucky during the northern hemisphere season.

Messara races King’s Troop and stands With Pride’s sire Charge Forward.

Velazquez has ridden around the world and is looking forward to his first trip to Australia.

“I’ve never been there. It’s a new place for me,” Velazquez told bloodhorse.com.

“It will be exciting to be there and hopefully to ride a decent horse and win a race.

“I don’t ride every race, so I’ll get there early enough and watch a couple races and go from there.

“I try to adjust to whatever is around me. I have fun with these things. Every time I go somewhere I like to be part of it and learn from it.”

 
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