Rachel King will look to Asiago, Paths Of Glory and Royal Tudor to continue her stellar stakes record at Broadmeadow on the Newcastle Cup program on Friday.
The Sydney-based Englishwoman has developed an affinity with Newcastle Racecourse - the hometown track of her fiance and fellow jockey Blake Spriggs.
The Newcastle apprentices' title was King's first premiership anywhere and she went onto claim a maiden group win with Lanciato in the 2018 Newmarket at the track. Last November, she took out the group 3 Spring Stakes aboard Asiago on the inaugural $1 million The Hunter program at Newcastle.
King will chase another Newcastle feature win with Asiago in the group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) for fillies and mares. On Monday she was among 28 nominations, which were headlined by group 1-winner Probabeel. Newcastle trainer Kris Lees entered Evalina, Wandabaa, Kedah, Game Of Thorns, Miss Fabulass, Regimental Band and Stella Sea Sun.
Asiago was a last-start winner of the listed Mona Lisa Stakes (1350m) at Wyong.
"Newcastle is definitely a better-suited track for her," King said. "I think her class probably shone through at Wyong, that's probably got her over the line really against those kind of horses.
"She was just that step above them, but definitely that bigger track at Newcastle will suit her. She's won there and the Kembla Grange Classic on that big track.
"She did a good job first-up and she will be improved again by that. It looks like the right kind of race for her second-up."
Paths Of Glory, for Richard and Michael Freedman, was also a winner with King at Wyong two weeks ago, taking out the Cup (2100m). He will shoot for the provincial staying double in the $200,000 group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m).
"He surprised us a bit first-up," King said. "We knew he was up to that class but it was just if he was going to be fit enough after a bit of a break.
"I guess he surprised us a bit the start before and he did it again at Wyong. He should have taken quite a bit of improvement out of that win at Wyong. He was quite big going into it.
"I think Newcastle is probably a better track for him as well, the bigger track I think will suit him."
Lees finished with five of the 19 nominations for the Cup - Aliferous, Attention Run, Big Duke, Mustajeer and Mugatoo - after pulling out Korcho and Raheen House. Past winners Hush Writer and Carzoff entered.
In the group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m), King is set to ride Royal Tudor for Newcastle trainer Rod Ollerton. He was among 20 entries for the 16-horse field.
"He ran enormous first-up on a heavy track at Randwick and I had to go right to the outside fence," King said. "He ran third behind Varda and Masked Crusader and it was a really big run first-up with no trial.
"He looked like he would need the run and he ran a huge race. He's had a gap between runs but he seems to run quite well like that."
Defending champion Rock, Miss Siska, Quackerjack and The Candy Man were other notable nominations. Lees has Special Reward, Chief Ironside, Le Romain and Miss Fabulass in entries.
Nominations were extended for the Friday and Saturday meetings, which had attracted 132 and 169 entries respectively on Monday.
** Former Newcastle jockey Stephen Apthorpe has died at age 67 following a short battle with cancer.
Apthorpe was raised in Newcastle and started his riding career as an apprentice to leading trainer Roy Hinton before heading to Gladstone in Queensland as a teenager in search of opportunities. He rode until the mid-1990s and won premierships at Gladstone, where he also trained.
His son, Shannon, who is also a jockey who spent time in Newcastle, said: "Dad was just a very good man who just loved his animals, and his animals loved him back.
"He had a lot of winners and he just had a real connection with the horses."