Top Perth hoop William Pike has opted to partner with the Adam Durrant-trained Tick Tick Bloom in the 2014 Belmont Guineas this weekend after being given the choice of four in the showdown.
Continuing the action of the Belmont Winter Carnival, this Saturday the three-year-olds take to the track for the $100,000 Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m).
Last Saturday at the same track and distance it was the $125,000 Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) headlining Belmont racing, a feature race Pike won aboard flying mare Elite Belle.
Now he’ll shoot for another WA Black Type this weekend aboard Viscount filly Tick Tick Bloom when she faces her biggest test so far in the Guineas.
Pike could have chosen between Tick Tick Bloom, promising staying type Arcadia Rose who was second to Sujet at the track last Saturday, Oratorio gelding Bayatorio coming off back-to-back Belmont wins over 1400m this season or smart Husson filly Star Of Husson who he’s ridden for their past four starts in the event.
He opted for Tick Tick Bloom however, a winner of three of her seven starts to date who steps up to stakes company for the first time here after producing some powerful finishes of late.
Her past two starts have both been over the 1650m at Belmont, and both were successful with the up-and-comer going back-to-back on successive Saturdays.
Two back on May 28 she beat Gondiggin home by one and a quarter lengths carrying 57kg then went up to 58kg on June 4 for a win by the same margin, this time over the Grant Williams-trained Blackfriars gelding Scenic Lord.
Pike was aboard the winning filly for both of those runs, as well as two others before that, and will continue his association with her in Saturday’s Belmont Guineas.
Her Lark Hill-based trainer believes Pike has made the right call with Tick Tick Bloom the one to beat in the Guineas over the distance.
“I’m looking forward to her tackling the Guineas,” Durrant told The West Australian.
“Then we’ll see the best of her in the Oaks and Belmont Classic.”
The $100,000 Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m) runs back at the track on July 5 followed by the $100,000 Listed Belmont Classic over 2200m on July 19.
As for those Pike rejected, Williams’ Kheleyf filly Arcadia Rose will now be ridden by apprentice Chris Parnham replacing 16-year-old Lucy Warwick who rode her in the Westspeed Handicap (1200m) last weekend.
Warwick was in flying form at Belmont that day too scoring her maiden city double with skillful rides on Celebrity Miss and Lucciola.
Williams has then booked Kyra Yuill for Star Of Husson and Glenn Smith will stay on their stablemate Midnight Shimmer.
The 2014 Belmont Guineas final field is due out on Wednesday and will be published here so stay tuned.
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