A filly mentioned in dispatches as a possible Blue Diamond Stakes candidate promises to return former Perth jockey Paul King to some of the racing spotlight on Saturday.
Mostly riding on the NSW provincial and country circuits since moving to Sydney, the Group One-winning jockey has answered a call from trainer Gai Waterhouse to ride Flamboyant Lass in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap at Randwick.
The opportunity for King to ride a city winner comes as Tulloch Lodge stable jockey Tommy Berry heads to the Gold Coast to ride Carriages in the Magic Millions Classic.
King’s moment is a chance Waterhouse’s lieutenant Mark Newnham can relate to as a former Tulloch Lodge rider who plied his trade around the provincials.
“Paul has been riding work for us for about 18 months now and it’s the right weekend to reward him with all the top jockeys away,” Newnham said.
“This meeting used to be all right for me when I was riding for Gai.”
Flamboyant Lass ran into stablemate Pierrette when she filled a minor placing at her debut in October but her barrier trial win last week raised stable expectations for a winning return.
“She is a nice filly and Tommy Berry was pretty impressed with her trial because she won in good time,” Newnham said.
“Gai has spoken about the Blue Diamond with a few of the owners but it would be nice to get a win on the board first before thinking about Melbourne.”
King will also ride Waterhouse’s only other Randwick runner, the middle-distance galloper Laidback Larry.
He will be having his second start after a spring campaign was cut short with a dismal showing in the Kingston Town Stakes.
The five-year-old will contest the Declaration Of War @ Coolmore Plate as the winner of three from four over 1600m.
“They were a bit sharp for him first-up at Canterbury and although it’s only a slight distance rise for him he’ll be much better on a bigger track like Randwick,” Newnham said.