Newcastle preview: Rachael King aiming for a repeat with last-start winners Paths Of Glory and Asiago

Rachel King was the talk of Wyong a few weeks ago when riding extremely well to deliver two feature wins for different stables.

And she’s trying to do it again on Friday on Paths Of Glory in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup and Asiago in the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes.

The pair won the Wyong Cup and Mona Lisa Stakes respectively last start for King who was at her best in the saddle.

“It’s hard to follow days like that,” she said.

“I was quietly confident Asiago would run a huge race that day while Paths Of Glory was a little bit of a surprise, not that he wasn’t up to them ability-wise, but he was first-up.

“There’s more pressure on now to follow that up and get both horses to do it again but the way they won suggest that both have improvement to come.”

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Paths Of Glory has been a favourite of King’s since she rode the grey into an unflattering 11th place at his second Australian start for Richard and Michael Freedman.

“I really liked him from the first time I rode him. It wasn’t a great run on paper that day but he just gave me a really good feeling,” King said.

“I remember saying it to Richard Freedman and he looked at me a bit funny. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the horse but he probably hadn’t quite seen that in him yet.

“It’s been great to build a connection with him.”

Rachel King is chasing another win on Asiago at Newcastle. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Paths Of Glory has drawn a wide gate but that doesn’t mean he’ll have to be ridden quite like he was in the Wyong Cup which was the plan because he was five weeks between runs.

King has been studying the now six-year-old’s form for some time now and knows what he’s capable of.

“The start before I sat outside the leader and he won so he’s quiet versatile. I learnt that when watching his races in England,” King said.

“We’ll need a bit of luck early from the gate and he’s easy to ride in that I can go forward or come back a couple of lengths on him.”

Asiago drops 1kg in weight off her Mona Lisa win and has drawn well in gate six for King and Godolphin who trust her to ride many of their good horses.

The Medaglia D’oro four-year-old scored first-up as a $21 chance to upset Wandabaa who she takes on again..

Wandabaa is rated a $6 favourite in an open race with Asiago to be sent out at around the $7 mark with the punters naturally having more respect for her.

She ran in two Group 1s last preparation and won the Kembla Grange Classic and King was also on her when she took out the Spring Stakes at Newcastle where she’s undefeated from two attempts.

“The bigger track will be much better for her,” King said.

“Her class just got her over the line at Wyong and I was surprised at her price that day.

“She’d been aimed up at Group 1 races and Godolphin don’t do that unless they think they can win those races.”


McCormack will once again be underrated by the punters but not by his trainer Tracey Bartley who has a history of bringing down the big boys in good races like Friday’s Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle.

The five-year-old will again start as an outsider at around $25 despite winning two starts back over 1400m at Randwick then running an eye-catching fifth last start at the same track.

Kathy O’Hara will ride him again today from barrier 10.

“He ran a better last 600m than the winner did in the Tramway so I think the horse is going terrific,” Bartley said.

“He faced the breeze last start and if he got cover I think he wins and that’s what Kathy thought. He only got cover for about 100m.

“I told Kathy not to go so early on him but she came back and said she should’ve got going a furlong earlier because on the line he was going better than all of them when he came back at them.”

McCormack (left) can win again at big odds. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Despite coming out of an awkward draw the race set up should ensure McCormack finds he cover he needs to help him upset the likes of Special Reward, Rock and Just Thinkin’ who finished in front of him last start.

“If there’s decent speed he’ll slot in somewhere. Just Thinkin’ and Quackerjack will go forward,” Bartley said.

“Just Thinkin’ will be in the betting and mine will be any old odds but there’s not much between them.”

Bartley will likely scratch Moana Jewel from the Tibbie Stakes today to run at Randwick tomorrow in the last race on the card where she’ll jump from barrier one for Rachel King.

Bartley said she’s a big winning chance despite being rated a $61 hope.

“She’s done really well and she’s right on song,” he said.

“It’s a nice for her on Saturday and she maps to get a nice run.

“She’ll be fourth of fifth and sitting there and waiting and if she gets any luck and the speed is on she’ll pounce.”

Originally published asNewcastle preview: King aims to repeat double

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