Jockey Rachel King (Image: Bradley Photos)
Rachel King will experience a moment this week that several years ago didn't seem possible.
The 28-year-old jockey will wear Godolphin's world-famous blue silks in a Group 1 race on Saturday.
King partners Encryption, prepared by Godolphin's Australian head trainer James Cummings, in the $1.25 million Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
It's a far cry from her time as an amateur rider in England where she rode 27 winners on the flat and over obstacles.
"It's been a dream to ride for them," King said. "James (Cummings) has been very supportive, given me opportunities and I've been lucky to have had some success for them."
King's first ride for Godolphin came on this weekend last year, when she guided the Cummings-trained Isaurian to victory over 1000 metres at Warwick Farm on March 7.
Her second ride was also successful aboard Ozark at Randwick in April 2018. Overall, King has ridden Godolphin horses 63 times for seven wins and 21 placings.
"Selecting me to ride Encryption is a big confidence boost as well," King said. "Whilst the horse does have a light weight in the Newmarket, I'm sure there's many jockeys who would have been putting their hand up to ride him.
"It's one thing to have a ride in a Group 1 race but it's particularly exciting to have a ride on a horse with an excellent chance."
Encryption ran third to Bons Away and Written By in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 2 before finishing runner-up to Booker in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at the same venue three weeks later.
Encryption worked stylishly over 1000 metres on the Flemington course proper on Tuesday morning alongside stablemate and Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap favourite Osborne Bulls.
King will prepare for her Seppelt Wines Newmarket ride at Flemington by riding in another Newmarket aboard Lanciato, the only horse she's guided to multiple Stakes victories.
The Mark Newnham-trained Lanciato contests Friday's $160,000 G3 Newcastle Newmarket (1400m), a race he won last season with King aboard.
The six-year-old Per Incanto gelding resumed with a pleasing closing effort, finishing fifth in the G3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 16 when beaten by a length.
"I was very happy with his run," King said. "As usual he got back and settled a length behind the winner (Eckstein) and maintained that margin with her the whole way.
"He's got a fantastic second-up record (three wins from four attempts) and is going as good, if not better, than this time last year."
Lanciato is expected to be kept to 1400m for the rest of this season, with June's G1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) a potential long-term aim, after running unplaced in last year's G1 Doncaster Mile (seventh) and G1 Epsom Handicap (11th).