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Rachel King wins at Caulfield debut

Sydney horses and sometimes even Sydney jockeys can often struggle at their first try at Caulfield, but there were no such concerns for Rachel King and her mount Manicure on Saturday.

Neither had been around Caulfield before but you wouldn't know after they combined for a surprise win in the How Now Stakes, which was most notable for the shock defeat of odds-on favourite Pippie.

Jockey Ben Melham looked down at the off-front leg of Pippie a few times in the home straight as she surrendered the lead and then beat just one horse home as the $1.95 favourite.

"I was a little concerned with her action in the off-fore," he reported after the race.

"She travelled well in front. When she's going good she normally picks up underneath me and takes off at the corner but when I first asked her to increase, she just lacked that turn of foot and became awkward on the off-side.

"I hope she's alright."

Co-trainer Chris Meagher said he felt certain he would be taking Pippie back to the Gold Coast for some weeks of rest and recuperation.

"Then we'll start all over again," he said.

For King, the race turned out perfectly as she took a box-seat on Manicure ($12) and was then allowed to run by the leaders to score by a length-and-a-half from Angelic Ruler ($18), with three-quarters of a length to Dawn Dawn ($21) in third place.

"Everyone told me how difficult it is here (Caulfield) but she really made my job easy," King said of Manicure.

"It was different (riding at Caulfield) but I think the 1200 metres was a good one to start off. Straight run, one turn. I think the 1400 metres next might be a bit more challenging."

King had some Melbourne experience as she's ridden in a handful of races in Melbourne over the past season, including one for James Cummings in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March aboard seventh-placed Encryption.

As for Manicure, King said she was impressed with her ability to handle herself in a new environment.

"This was her first time around as well but she is very versatile and you can put her where you like," she said.

"She actually flew the gates like a rocket and got into a really good spot, got that cover from the wind and was too good."

Manicure and Rachel King, picture Quentinjlang.com

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