Group 1 winning riders test Covid positively

One of Sydney’s leading riders begins the new year in isolation after testing positive for Covid.

Star jockey Rachel King confirmed Wednesday night that she and Group 1 winning partner Blake Spriggs had tested positive for the rapidly spreading virus.

King broke the news via Twitter after she was forced to give up her trips on Boxing Day and Wednesday’s Belle Of The Turf Stakes meeting at Gosford.

“Unfortunately, @Blakespriggs and I have tested positive for Covid,” the tweet said.

“Blake is a few days ahead of me in isolation and will ride back early next week while I aim to be back on Saturday the 8th @rosehillgardens.”

It is understood that Spriggs, who also refrained from driving in recent days, first tested positive on a rapid antigen test before another test confirmed the bad news.

Jockey Rachel King, first female Everest Jockey

Rachel King with Blake Spriggs. Photo: Tim Hunter.

Both Spriggs and King remained out of the saddle while awaiting the results.

The positive test has already proved costly for King, who unfortunately missed the chance to pilot Bacchanalia in the listed $ 150,000 Gosford Guineas (1200m) at Gosford on Wednesday.

Chad Schofield rode the Godolphin gallop in King’s place and was able to win the three-year-old feature – his first winner since returning from Hong Kong earlier this month.

Two of the rides that King was forced to give up on Sunday at Randwick also won at the meeting.

King is not the first jockey from the Sydney room to be knocked down during the pandemic with star apprentice Tom Sherry, who also got Covid earlier this year.

Sherry was later suspended after it was revealed that he participated in track work while positive, which broke Racing NSW’s health and safety protocols.

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