Lachie King wins Victoria Derby on Johnny Get Angry. Picture: Racing Photos
Lachie King’s spring is back on track, with confirmation the star apprentice will return from injury at Cranbourne on Thursday.
The 23-year-old, who created headlines with his Victoria Derby win last spring, hasn’t ridden in a race since suffering fractured ribs, a fractured vertebrae and a punctured lung in a horror fall at Wodonga in mid-July.
King has been riding trackwork for Troy and Leon Corstens for just over a week and said he was feeling healthy and strong ahead of his return to the saddle.
“I gave myself plenty of time to get over it,” King said.
“The body is good, I’ve been back (riding trackwork) for about a week and a half and I’ve ridden a few trials as well.
“I’m coming back at a tough time of the year but I’m looking forward to hopefully getting some opportunities this spring and be able to capitalise on last year.
“I’m not saying it’s not going to be very hard, opportunities for kids like myself are pretty hard to come by.”
King will make a low-key return with a handful of rides at provincial meetings over the next few days but will burst back into the spotlight on Saturday week when he reunites with Derby hero Johnny Get Angry in the $1 million Group 1 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
King rode the four-year-old in a recent Cranbourne trial and said that while he can forecast a cheeky second-up run from Denis Pagan’s stayer, he’s excited about his prospects once he steps up to 2000m and beyond.
Johnny Get Angry is expected to tackle the Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) third-up before connections decide whether the Caulfield Cup and Lexus Melbourne Cup are realistic options.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on Johnny next Saturday,” he said.
“With some of those internationals not coming over, it might put him in the picture a bit more for the Cup.
“I think he’s matured a lot mentally with the eight months he’s had off and what Denis did in giving him a good break after the Derby was really good, it’s really let him mature and grow.
“He’s come back a bit more push button.
“I thought his trial the other day was pretty good and he pulled up great so I’m going into the Makybe Diva more positive than I thought I would be.”
WATCH: Johnny Get Angry trial over 1550m at Cranbourne.