When Rachel King flew back into Sydney recently after a riding stint in Japan, it wasn’t major sporting news. Perhaps it should have been.

Rachel King
Rachel King, a five time Group 1-winning jockey in Australia, has become a star in Japan. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

Working in a country foreign to her in terms of custom, culture and language, King achieved remarkable success in just two months.

She won 16 of the 139 races she contested, ran second 12 times and third on 17 occasions. She won seven stakes races and became the first visiting female jockey to claim a Group (flat) race, urging Chuck Nate to victory in the Group 2 American Jockey Club Cup for her main trainer and sponsor Noriyuki Hori.

Racegoers often queued for her autograph and cheered ‘King! King! King!’ from around the mounting yard. Such was her accomplishment in this great racing nation, in fact, that she still sits in 14th position on the Japan Racing Association’s jockey rankings.

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