Slow Pace sounds like an ominous horse to ride, yet Rachel King couldn’t be happier as her apprenticeship gathers momentum with a chance in a city stakes race at Rosehill.
English-born King usually spends her Saturdays on the provincial or country circuit, so the nine-year-old gelding she guided home at Randwick on Anzac Day has provided the catalyst for a coveted booking.
King had been expecting to step aside for a senior rider when Slow Pace seeks back-to-back wins in the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m), but Kris Lees has kept faith in the promising rider attached to the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable.
“It’s always a good compliment from the trainer that he wants to keep me on even though I can’t claim on Saturday.
“Kris has always been a big supporter of mine, right from day one really,” King said.
The trainer’s support was underlined at Warwick Farm on Wednesday when King rode the Lees-trained Wahng Wah to victory.
King rode Slow Pace for the first time on April 25 and it was a memorable experience as the 46-race veteran won the Anzac Appeal Cup by a short neck.
And this weekend also promises to be a highlight regardless of how her $26 chance fares.
“It’s the occasion, and the fact I’m competing on a level terms in a race like that because I don’t have the weight advantage,” she said,
“It’s always a big achievement to step up to the Saturdays in town and get those chances in the bigger races. Hopefully this is the start of more to come.”
King is halfway through her four-year apprenticeship and has already ridden in stakes races for Greg Bennett and Paul Perry out of town.
She made her Sydney debut on a Friday night at Canterbury in November and felt her development was going to schedule.
“In the last four or five months I’ve started to ride on the city more,” she said.
“I went to Canterbury and won both races (In Her Time and Raijinz). It was great to go to the city and cement yourself like that.”
After his gutsy win at Randwick, King was also upbeat about Slow Pace defying its name to win successive races for the first time since his first two starts in France in 2011.
“He’s not really tricky but he’s an old horse and everything has to go his own way,” King said.
“He’s probably one that doesn’t want a senior jockey on sort of bullying him. You’ve got to ask him, not tell him.”