Railway Stakes 2014 Winner Elite Belle for Pike

Perth’s best jockey William Pike celebrated his first win in Western Australia’s premier race guiding classy mare Elite Belle to a cracking win in the Railway Stakes 2014 at Ascot Racecourse.

After losing the WA Guineas earlier on the day when even money favourite Disposition was run down, Pike cemented himself as the state’s best hoop with a masterful win aboard the Grant Williams-trained Elite Belle in the 128th running of the $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m).

“I’ve been having a bit of a long day,” he said after the Railway Stakes result.

“I feel like I’ve justified my positon a little bit.

“It’s great to win the home town race.”

Known affectionately as the ‘Wizard’, young Pike found a gap after the winning Canny Lad mare got caught on the fence with 650m to go, and threaded her through the field after race favourite The Cleaner burned forward quickly to lead and set the pace.

“She had a great run, began well,” Pike said.

“I found myself on the fence.

“In the run I had a great run in transit…but found I had to navigate traffic.

“I seen my opening.”

That opening happened after Fuchsia Bandana, sitting second earlier behind The Cleaner who led onto the turn before fading, kicked up and Pike went with her – Elite Girl’s blistering turn of foot quickly on display.

Fuchsia Bandana hit the front but Elite Belle stormed through the middle in a gem of a ride.

The six-year-old market mover ($5.50) then flew home to score a tidy win over last start Asian Beau Stakes winner Balmont Girl ($10) with the Chris Waller-trained Sydney raider Moriarty ($19) coming from the back of the field to finish off the Railway Stakes trifecta.

“This little horse has a great kick on her,” Pike said.

“She’s quite a scary one, she doesn’t even travel she does it (accelerates) from off the bit.

“She’s off the bit, catches you a little bit unaware but then when she lets down it’s electric.

“It’s a great feeling.”

First-up winner of the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) on October 25, Elite Belle had Williams confident a month out from the Railway Stakes.

But then she put in only an ordinary effort, but ran smart sectionals, when fourth behind today’s subsequent Winterbottom Stakes winning mare Magnifisio in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.

The Lee Steere Stakes form held then in both of the Group 1 races on ‘Super Saturday’, Elite Belle improving to break her Group 1 maiden status thanks equal parts to the winning horse and her hoop according to Williams.

“He’s the best over here for a reason,” Williams said of Pike.

“We call him the ‘Wizard’ for a reason and that was one of the best (rides).

“I thought we had too many horses to get through.

“I couldn’t believe it.

“He just gets the best out of them, balances them up.

“And she’s got a good kick.”

Williams plans to back his Railway Stakes winner up on December 6 back at the track in the $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) where she’s likely to face off with today’s upset WA Guineas winner Rommel from the Neville Parnham stables.

“We’ve had a really good day,” he said.

“Just got to take every race as they come and this is the Grand Final winning the Railway.

“This is by far the biggest thing I’ve ever done, just amazing.

“Obviously go onto the Kingston Town but we’ll be having a good part first!”

Elite Belle has now won nine of her 23 career starts, today’s Railway Stakes prize money boosting her total earnings up over the $1 million mark.

It was a massive result then for owner-breeder Bob Peters as well who was thrilled to win a Group 1 with a mare, a rarity according to the prolific horseman.

“Big win for a mare, not many mares win this race and it’s a real story,” Peters said.

“I was a little bit worried before the corner, she was jammed up on the rails with nowhere to go but Willie obviously found a way to get through.

“In Western Australia he’s the best.

“This is the hardest race in Western Australia to win.

“It’s great to win a Group 1 with a mare, it doesn’t happen that often.”

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2014 Railway Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Ascot Race 8 – 22/11/2014

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 7 ELITE BELLE Grant Williams William Pike 12 53.5kg $6
2 9 BALMONT GIRL Paula Wagg Shaun O’Donnell 0.75L 11 53kg $9
3 2 MORIARTY (IRE) Chris Waller Nash Rawiller 0.75L 15 57kg $19
4 3 SMOKIN’ JOEY Wez Hunter Ben Melham 0.75L 5 56kg $13
5 13 FUCHSIA BANDANA Darren Mcauliffe Jarrad Noske 1.25L 9 53kg $12
6 10 BASS STRAIT (NZ) Neville Parnham Chris Parnham (a) 2.25L 3 53kg $16
7 16 RESPONDENT Grant Williams Brad Parnham 2.25L 1 53kg $9
8 8 AMORINO Grant Williams Shaun Meeres 2.75L 2 53kg $26
9 1 THE CLEANER Mick Burles Steven Arnold 3L 6 58kg $5.50
10 6 IHTSAHYMN Fred Kersley Steven Parnham 3.5L 8 54.5kg $13
11 4 ALMA’S FURY Tony Gollan Michael Rodd 3.75L 14 55.5kg $12
12 11 CHESTER ROAD Adam Durrant Peter Hall 4.5L 13 53kg $31
13 15 RANGER Adam Durrant Dom Tourneur 4.5L 4 53kg $31
14 5 MR MOET Adam Durrant Paul Harvey 4.75L 10 55.5kg $9
15 14 PLATINUM ROCKER Simon A Miller Peter Knuckey 11.25L 7 53kg $18
16 12 FANCY FEET Shane Quilty Ryan Hill 18.25L 16 53kg $101
19e MISS ROSE DE LAGO Simon A Miller Jason Brown 7
20e REBELSON Darren Mcauliffe 4
17e TRADING DAY Warren Wilson Jason Whiting 12
18e EXPRESS SERVICE Darren Mcauliffe 13

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