Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Leading West Australian jockey William Pike has been confirmed to take the ride on race favourite Lieder in Monday’s 2017 Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay Racecourse.
Lieder began his racing career under the guidance of John O’Shea as part of the Godolphin operation, but was sold at auction in spring and passed through the Queensland stables of Steve O’Dea before transferring to Michael Hickmott’s care in March this year.
Pike was thrilled to receive the call up to partner Lieder in the 2017 Darwin Cup and is confident that the horse will relish the conditions of the $200,000 feature race.
“I’m pretty excited to pick this ride up actually,” Pike told TAB Radio.
“It was a bit of a strange phone call I wasn’t expecting but Michael won the Cup last year, the horse gets in with 54(kg) and his lead-up run last start was quite good.
“It’s nice to get a phone call from people outside of your circles and that they’re thinking of you.”
Hickmott is no stranger to the Darwin Cup, having saddled Canny Ballad to a smart win in the race in 2016 and is thrilled to have secured Pike’s services for Lieder in this year’s race.
“There aren’t many better riders in Australia at 54 kilos than William Pike,” Hickmott told the West Australian.
“I’m very excited to have the great man on board.
“We bought this horse to win this race. His last-start third in a lead-up race was very good and he’ll be third-up like all my other cup winners have been.
“I’ll have a few other rides for William on the day, including Arrow Lane who won by four lengths last Saturday.”
Lieder placed sixth in a Morphettville mile race in his first start for Hickmott, but responded with a smart win in the 1915 Perpetual Trophy (1606m) at Murray Bridge on April 25th.
Sixth in the Quayclean Provincial Series Final (1800m) on May 13th, the Street Cry gelding finished ninth in the John Miller Hall Of Fame Trophy (1800m) only one week later and has since arrived in the top-end for fifth in the Ben & Sarah For Breakfast BM75 (1600m) and third in the time-honoured Buntine Handicap (1900m).
Lieder is currently considered the $4 favourite in 2017 Darwin Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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