While Rachel King is enjoying a superb run of form in Sydney during the winter, fellow apprentice Jean Van Overmeire has had his own moment to savour at Warwick Farm.
Van Overmeire, who grew up near English equine epicentre Newmarket, achieved his first metropolitan win on Wednesday when the Bjorn Baker-trained Samadoubt claimed the Ranvet Handicap (1600m) by an emphatic margin.
“It makes it even more special doing it for the boss. I’m very grateful,” Van Overmeire said.
“I’ve been working for Bjorn for just over a year now. He’s looked after me. Going forward, it’s looking good.”
Jaunty, the $4.20 favourite was three lengths second with Kitteau ($8.50) another neck third.
Van Overmeire was always confident a milestone beckoned when the tempo was slower than he expected as the three-year-old tackled a mile for the first time.
“I thought the pace would be a bit more genuine at the beginning.” he said.
“He had it pretty easy in front and had a good kick turning for home.”
Baker’s stable representative Maddie Berkeley admitted there had been a query over Samadoubt’s ability to step up from 1400m.
“It was a question mark first time up over the trip but he’s fifth-up and rock hard fit and he was just too good for them,” she said.
“He was down in grade, he had Jean claiming the three kilos so it’s all just worked in his favour.”
Baker was not at the meeting but congratulated the South African-born jockey via social media, tweeting: “He is an excellent rider and will make it, mark my word.”