Jockey Rachel King out to reign at Royal Ascot

A newly married Rachel King is set to cap her globetrotting season with two rides at the prestigious Royal Ascot carnival.

The UK-born jockey, who grew up an hour away from the famous English course, moved to Australia 11 years ago and has gone on to cement her place in the highly competitive Sydney arena.

She enjoyed a successful stint in Japan over the summer where she became the first foreign female rider to win a graded Japan Racing Association flat race, claiming the Group 2 American Jockey Club Cup (2200m) on Chuck Nate in January.

On Thursday, she will celebrate another career milestone with her first ride at Royal Ascot aboard OTI Racing’s Highland Bling in the King George V Stakes.

She has also been booked to partner Strutting for John and Thady Gosden in the Sandringham Stakes on Friday.

King regularly attended the Royal Ascot meeting as a child and said it would be a special moment for her family to see her compete.

“I’m very much looking forward to coming back. Thursday I’ve got a ride, and Friday as well,” King told FanDuel Racing.

“We came every year as kids. We used to have a day off school to come.

“I really wanted to do it for dad, and mum and dad are both going to come on Thursday.

“It will mean a lot just to have a ride and hopefully be a bit competitive as well.”

In England for her wedding to Bjorn Baker’s racing manager Luke Hilton, King enlisted the help of highly regarded jockey agent Tony Hind to help her secure her Royal Ascots rides.

While both her mounts are at double-figure odds, she expects them to acquit themselves well.

“According to my manager they have (chances),” King quipped.

“It’s a very difficult meeting to get rides at, everyone wants to be here and wants to be competing.

“We’ve tried to aim for the top and we’ve got a couple of really nice rides and for good trainers and very good owners.”

King has been enjoying a successful 2023-24 season in Australia, highlighted by a brace of Group 1 wins aboard Just Fine in the Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) and Ozzmosis in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).

Despite missing a couple of months during the summer to ride in Japan, she sits eleventh on the Sydney jockeys’ premiership with 29 wins.

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