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Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Rachel King flying high after second consecutive apprentice title down under

Rachel King after winning at Randwick in Sydney last month
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Rachel King, who swapped Oxford for the outback, will embark on her first season as a professional in Australia riding the crest of a wave following a second apprentice title in as many seasons.

The 27-year-old – who turns 28 on Tuesday – grew up in Britain but decided to try and crack the Australian circuit four and a half years ago after a brief spell riding as an amateur and has not looked back.

King, who was also a secretary for Clive Cox before embarking on her Australian odyssey, secured the Metropolitan Apprentice Premiership at the weekend, having won the New South Wales apprentice premiership last year.

"This [premiership] was confined to the metropolitan area," King said on Sunday. "We race on Wednesday and Saturday and it's that little bit harder."

King won the title with 38 winners, three and a half clear of her nearest rival (a dead-heat counting as a half) and recorded 54 winners overall for the campaign.

"This season's been really good for me," King added. "I had my first Group winner and rode in two or three Group 1s. I rode a stakes winner for Godolphin, which was even more special as I grew up watching the royal blue silks. That was a definite highlight."

Although King will be competing as a fully-fledged professional from Wednesday, she has been riding without a claim for several months and has ridden over 150 winners since the move, so is hopeful the change will not be too appreciable.

"I lost my claim about five months ago but it's done on a timescale here rather than winners," King said. "In that way I'm hoping it won't be too different."

King's career has blossomed since moving to the other side of the world, and she thinks the sheer amount of racing in Australia has helped her find more opportunities.

She added: "Nothing really took off for me [in Britain] but there's so much racing here – it's a big plus and makes things a bit easier. They're that little bit more open to girls as well, which helps.

"England is getting a lot better and there's some girls coming through, but it's the volume of racing that helps and gives you that opportunity."

When asked whether she would consider returning to ride in Britain, King identified the Shergar Cup as being on her wishlist.

"I'd love to come over for the Shergar Cup, that'd be really special," she said. "It'd be great to come and do it on that sort of stage, and Royal Ascot would be the main aim."

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I rode a stakes winner for Godolphin, which was even more special as I grew up watching the royal blue silks. That was a definite highlight

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Rachel King
E.W. Terms
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