They ride against the same jockeys week in and week out, but Kathy O’Hara and Rachel King will again be a focus in Saturday’s Golden Slipper as they set another first and look for a piece of history.
It is the first time in the race’s 64-year history that the Golden Slipper will have two female jockeys as O’Hara, in her fourth appearance in the race, rides outsider Rocket Tiger, while King sticks with Todman Stakes winner Anamoe.
And both are keen on causing an upset to set another first.
“I can see why it is played up, obviously this is the first time two of us [female jockeys] have ridden in a Golden Slipper,” O’Hara said. “Until there are no more firsts left it is always going to be made a feature of. Hopefully we can change that on Saturday.”
There have only been five female jockeys ride in the Golden Slipper Clare Lindop, Bernadette Cooper, Lesley Bellden, O’Hara and Maree Lyndon, who was the first to ride in the race back in 1987. Gai Waterhouse holds the trainers’ record with seven Slipper wins, including last year’s victor Farnan in partnership with Adrian Bott.
It is considered one of the biggest prizes in racing and for King, who will don the Godolphin blue on Saturday, it was one of the only races the English-born jockey had heard of before coming to Australia. If Anamoe can win it will be her first group 1 victory.
“This race and the Melbourne Cup were only two races I knew of before I got here,” King said. “I don’t think anyone would say no to winning a Slipper as your first big one.”
Anamoe is out to $16 after drawing the outside gate, despite accounting for favourites Profiteer and Stay Inside at his first Sydney start a fortnight ago. The Blue Diamond placegetter was the strongest late, unleashing a big sprint from last to reel in Profiteer, which he will need to do again on Saturday.
“He raced in blinkers in Melbourne and they took them off him and he relaxed really well early on the other day,” King said.