Velazquez To Ride King’s Troop In Magic Millions Sprint

By: Thomas Hackett
January 4th, 2016

Trainer Gerald Ryan has revealed that American hoop Johnny Velazquez will partner King’s Troop in the 2016 Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

King's Troop (inside) finished second behind Japonisme in the San Domenico Stakes during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival. Photo by: Steve Hart

King’s Troop (inside) finished second behind Japonisme in the San Domenico Stakes during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival. Photo by: Steve Hart

It was announced at the start of December that Velazquez would make the trip to the Gold Coast for the $10 million meeting, but Ryan is the first trainer to lock the hall-of-fame jockey in for a plumb ride.

“Looking at the entries I think he will get a run and Johnny Velazquez will ride him,” Ryan said.

“If With Pride can get into the maiden he will also ride her.”

King’s Troop stamped himself as a horse to follow when he recorded a dominant seven lengths victory in a barrier trial over 904 metres at Rosehill Gardens on July 7 and he made his racing debut with a second place finish behind Japonisme in the Bob Ingham Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 18 before he recorded his maiden race win in comfortable fashion in the Place Multi Maiden (1100m) at Warwick Farm on August 5.

The talented colt was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished second behind Japonisme in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 15 and he returned to the races with a slightly flat effort in the ATC Farewells Alan Thomas Handicap (1000m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day.

Brenton Avdulla has ridden King’s Troop in the majority of his race starts, but Velazquez will take over the ride in what will be his visit to Australia.

Velazquez made his riding debut in Puerto Rico back in 1990 and since then he has developed into one of the most successful jockeys in the history of United States racing.

He has won countless races at the highest level, but he is best known to Australian racing fans for his relationship with Animal Kingdom and Wise Dan.

Animal Kingdom, who now stands at Arrowfield Stud, delivered Velazquez his first Kentucky Derby victory and gave him the opportunity to ride at Royal Ascot, while he took the Group 1 Clark Handicap (1809m), Group 1 Woodbine Mile Stakes (1609m), Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile (1609m), Group 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (1810m), Group 1 Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes (1609m) and Group 1 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (1609m) with Wise Dan.

The 2016 Magic Millions Sprint field will be released tomorrow and King’s Troop is set to take on the likes of Buffering, Eloping, Temple Of Boom, Liberation, Wicked Intent and Wild Rain.

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