Mick Price reveals Rachel King in ‘box seat’ to ride Stradbroke Handicap favourite Ayrton

Rachel King is set to score the prized Stradbroke Handicap ride on Ayrton and the star Sydney jockey will jet to Brisbane next week to partner the boom galloper at trackwork.

The Courier Mail can reveal that Ayrton’s co-trainer Mick Price has called on King and says the lightweight rider is “in the box seat” to ride the unbeaten excitement machine at 49.5kg in the Stradbroke.

Jamie Kah will ride Ayrton in the Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday week in a race which the three-year-old must win to book his Stradbroke ticket.

But with Kah ruling herself out of riding at the featherweight of 49.5kg in the Stradbroke, it seems all but certain another female riding star will take her place if Ayrton makes the Stradbroke field where he is the raging $3.50 favourite.

“Rachel is in the box seat,” Price told The Courier Mail.

“In discussion with owners, we think Rachel is a suitable choice to ride this horse in the Stradbroke.

“I said to Rachel to make her position extremely strong, she would be best off flying to Queensland next Tuesday morning and giving the horse a course-proper gallop at Eagle Farm so she has a feel for him.

“Rachel has a good relationship with Jamie Kah, and she rides naturally light.

“She is an experienced, seasoned lightweight rider and we feel she suits good striding horses that roll along up near the pace.”

Sydney jockey Rachel King is in pole position to ride Ayrton in the Stradbroke, should the gelding make the field. Picture: David SwiftSource:Supplied

King, who joined racing’s Group 1 club when riding 2018 Spring Champion Stakes winner Maid Of Heaven in 2018, has enjoyed a standout season in Sydney.

She is sitting third in the race for the Sydney’ jockeys title, only behind James McDonald and Tommy Berry.

It would be a major coup for King to ride Ayrton in the Stradbroke, given a host of lightweight riders including Glen Boss, Jye McNeil, Dean Yendall, Mick Dee and Ben Thompson have been floated as potential contenders for the ace ride.

Meanwhile, Price has his fingers crossed that travelling to Queensland by float rather than air won’t be a problem for Ayrton.

Ayrton had been due to fly to Queensland but was now set to leave by road on Wednesday evening after Queensland Health put a stop to a Tuesday flight containing Victorian horses because of a potential COVID issue.

Jamie Kah is unable to make Ayrton’s weight in the Stradbroke. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Price, who co-trains with Michael Kent Jr, said Ayrton’s trip to Queensland would be split into two segments and he would firstly travel to Sydney and stay at the stables of Gabrielle Englebrecht before continuing on to Queensland.

“If the horse travels well it won’t be a problem, if the horse travels poorly it will be an issue,” Price said.

“The main issue with horses travelling too far by road is travel sickness.

“We will break the trip up, 10 hours and then have a break and then another 10 hours.

“But you have still got two lots of ten hour trips.”

Originally published asPrice reveals leading contender for Ayrton ride

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