Comeback apprentice Mitchell Wood has been rewarded for his hard work with the ride on talented sprinter Rocky King at Doomben.
Wood was out for two years and during that time underwent three operations on a shoulder.
He has been back riding at provincial and midweek meetings since the end of last month after getting his weight under control.
Rocky King was ridden by senior jockey Damian Browne in his last-start Sunshine Coast win and another senior rider, Hugh Bowman, when second in the Listed Lightning Handicap on May 30.
Trainer Tom Bourke has opted to use Wood’s 2kg claim in Saturday’s Horizon Superannuation Open Hcp (1050m).
“He has drawn wide but Mitchell’s claim will reduce his weight to 57.5 kilograms,” Bourke said.
“Mitchell has been riding some work for me since his comeback and deserves a go,” Bourke said.
The speedy Rocky King has won 13 times over distances around 1000m but Bourke believes the gelding can be just as effective at longer trips.
“I am setting him for the Ramornie Handicap over 1200 metres at Grafton next month,” Bourke said.
“He ran second to Big Money in it last year and most people agreed he should have nearly won.”
Bourke is yet to decide whether Rocky King will have another trip south for the spring carnival after the Ramornie.
Last year he was unplaced in two Melbourne starts at Moonee Valley and Flemington.
Trainer Kelso Wood has also called on an apprentice to help one of Rocky King’s rivals, Seeking More, get back into the winners’ circle.
Matt McGuren will reduce Seeking More’s weight to the minimum 54kg.
Seeking More was second in the Listed Bribie Handicap two runs back after being trapped deep and then had little luck when fifth as favourite in the Lightning at his most recent start.
“Seeking More is well drawn in barrier two and deserves some luck,” Wood said.
Rocky King is the TAB’s early $3 favourite ahead of Seeking More at $4.20.