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King Expecting Everest Rebound From Overpass

Jockey Rachel King seems happy for her TAB Everest ride Overpass to be underestimated going into Saturday’s $15 million sprint at Royal Randwick.

After gaining Everest favour, and the James Kennedy slot, when he chased home Nature Strip in the Shorts (1100m) a month ago, Overpass wasn’t quite able to back it up when beaten two lengths by Lost And Running in the Premiere Stakes, run over the Everest course, on October 1.

King, who remains the only female rider to have experienced the TAB Everest after riding Eduardo two years ago, warns Overpass should be forgiven for that second-up run.

“He raced okay second-up, he probably had a little bit of second up syndrome and wasn’t quite as sharp,’’ she said.

“He took really good benefit from it, he’s rock hard fit now and his work couldn’t be any better. He has that little bit of spark back in him again.”

The Bjorn Baker-trained sprinter drew ideally, according to King, in gate six.

She said the entire will jump well from the stalls and put himself in a forward position without having to commit to getting into a speed battle and that will give Overpass, $34 with TAB on Thursday, his best chance.

“I was hoping one to six, to get six it gives us a few options,’’ she said.

“If he can lob somewhere in the first four or five he has that good tactical speed.

"Unlike a lot of sprinters he can go forward but he can come back, you can change gears on him so easily.

“It makes my job a lot easier, he’s very adaptable and he’s very tough.

“He’s a horse that can probably run 1400m or 1500m so he’s going to be very strong over a Randwick 1200m. Even if the track is a bit testing it shouldn’t worry him.”

Like all the Everest jockeys, King has a healthy respect for Nature Strip and believes his outside barrier plays into the defending champ’s favour.

“I think that helps him because it takes those few strides to get into stride,’’ she said.

“You probably won’t see him for the first 50m or so and then he’ll appear on the scene but in an Everest I don’t think anyone would be waiting for him.”

Elsewhere on Everest Day, King partners Arapaho in the $500,000 The Star St Leger (2600m) and she marvels at the stayer’s toughness.

Arapaho started his preparation with a third in the Muswellbrook Cup on April 1, he won a Benchmark 78 in May, a Grafton Cup in July and Premier’s Cup in August and was only beaten 2-3/4 lengths in the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) two weeks ago.

“He just keeps turning up, he’s had a long preparation but credit to the team they keep producing him on race day and he doesn’t run a bad race,’’ she said.

“I love riding him, he’s a pleasure to ride. He wants to do everything you want him to do.

“He stays well and he has that good turn of foot especially if the track is soft or a bit drier that’s when he shows his best.”


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