Champion West Australian jockey William Pike hopes to replicate the success of a breakthrough Melbourne autumn in the upcoming spring carnival.
The taste of Melbourne feature races, which culminated in Regal Power winning the $5 million All Star Mile, was the catalyst for Pike moving to Victoria to ride the Bob Peters-owned WA spring raiders.
Pike has rides on Friday at Geelong and Saturday at Caulfield where, among others, the champion hoop will carry the famous Peters’ cerise and white silks on Regal Power and Showmanship.
The open-ended three-month campaign is Pike’s longest outside WA, since the eight-time Group 1 winner rode in Hong Kong about a decade ago.
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Regal Power’s win in the $5 million All Star Mile was the catalyst for Willie Pike moving to Victoria.Source:AAP
Regal Power‘s autumn campaign, runner-up in the Group 1 Australian Cup before an emphatic All Star Mile win, convinced Pike he could in fact mix it with the best of the best on the east coast.
“I always had the self-belief but until you put the runs on the board you get that little voice on the shoulder asking you ‘what you’re doing here’,” Pike said.
“Lucky enough to get on a horse like Regal Power … I knew it was my (best) shot to get it done and luckily we did.”
Pike is under no illusions, however, about the competitiveness of the spring carnival and a Victorian jockeys’ room bursting with world class jockeys.
“I don’t expect things to be very easy,” Pike said.
“They want to win the races themselves.”
Jockey William Pike returns to scale after his big success at Caulfield in March.Source:AAP
Pike wants to ride as much as possible in Melbourne and Victoria, as long as it fits in with Peters’ plans for star gallopers Regal Power, Arcadia Queen, Superstorm, Perfect Jewel and Showmanship
“I’m looking forward to reuniting with Regal Power (on Saturday),” Pike said.
“Seeing if we can continue the success from before.
“I always treat each (campaign like a) new campaign, you’re a bit older, a bit slower, so you got to get stronger, almost like a boxing ring, every fight is closer to the one (fight) you get beat.
“I approach racing a bit like that, I don’t take anything for granted, I expect him (Regal Power) to run well but how he’s come back only time will tell.”
Pike has been allowed to ride some strictly controlled track work while in quarantine in Bendigo.
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The isolation and potential for the spring to be raced behind limited — if any — crowds and fanfare suits Pike, a noted homebody, down to the ground.
“I’m not really one to get restless and need to go and do things,” Pike said.
“Sitting at home and taking it easy is right up my alley.
“I haven’t got bored of it (isolation) yet, put it that way.
“I suppose the novelty hasn’t worn off just yet.
“We’ll see how it goes though, when you got a few months of it, you might change your mind.”
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Originally published asSpring carnival lands big fish from west
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