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
|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||–||–|
|–||17e||TRADING DAY||Warren Wilson||Jason Whiting||–||12||–||–|
|–||18e||EXPRESS SERVICE||Darren Mcauliffe||–||–||13||–||–|