Steven King is happy to take his opportunities when they come and another one has arisen on Saturday when he rides three-time Group One winner Efficient in the $1 million Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.
King has ridden the winners of most of the big races in Australia including a Melbourne Cup and a Caulfield Cup on Let’s Elope and a Cox Plate aboard Fields Of Omagh.
After winning Wednesday’s Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) on Efficient’s stablemate Tanby, he said it suited him to be riding for the Lloyd Williams stable at Mt. Macedon.
“Nick Hall had an operation a few months ago and Lloyd said come up and just work in with us and see what can happen,” King said.
“And it suits me because at this stage of my career for me to be floating around Flemington chasing rides is hard because it is so competitive down there.
“So I’m happy to be at Lloyd’s and get what I can get out of it.
“He’s got high-quality horses so whatever you get on they are winning chances.
“So at this stage of my career I’m pretty content.”
King rode Efficient in the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and was quite happy with his effort to finish sixth to Pinker Pinker.
“He’s going well,” he said.
“It is his fourth run in and he gets back to Flemington. The big track is going to suit him,” King said.
Flemington has been the scene of the popular grey’s career highlights – the 2007 Melbourne Cup (3200m), the 2006 Victoria Derby (2500m) and the 2009 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
The gelding has drawn the outside barrier, 14, and King said he expected him to go back early which is his normal racing pattern.
The Zabeel eight-year-old is being prepared for the Group Two Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on Saturday fortnight and is not in the Melbourne Cup.
However the three stablemates he will race against in the Mackinnon are all engaged in Tuesday’s big race.
Midas Touch will be ridden by Nick Hall on Saturday with The Bart Cummings winner Mourayan to again be handled by Hugh Bowman and Linton by Michael Rodd.
Cox Plate placegetter Rekindled Interest is favourite for the Mackinnon at $3.50 with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed at $6.50, Glass Harmonium at $8 with Foreteller, Efficient and Midas Touch at $9.
Linton is at $19 and Mourayan at $21.