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Another masterful ride by the ‘Wizard of the West’ William Pike combined with the enormous late burst by the talented Masked Crusader saw the Hawkes Racing-trained four-year-old take out Friday night’s William Reid Stakes 2021 at The Valley.
On the eve of Sydney’s washed-out Golden Slipper Stakes Day meeting, Moonee Valley hosted the last of Melbourne’s Group 1 races on Friday evening with the $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
It was a brilliant finish to the Victorian Autumn Racing Carnival with Toronado gelding Masked Crusader absolutely blitzing his rivals with a two and a half-length victory over Oakleigh Plate champion Portland Sky.
Pike continued his outstanding record in Melbourne taking a stalking position aboard the six-furlong specialist who was slow out, before getting through the narrowest of gaps on the short straight and letting the horse do the rest.
“I suppose at that stage I’d given up on pushing out and making a real clever move,” Pike told the media post-victory.
“I missed the boat … so had to sit there, hope, pray and wait.
“I got plenty of luck on the night but I suppose it was the only way we could win.
“I definitely didn’t expect that brilliant turn of foot.
“It’s really what won us the race, when I said go, he went, didn’t care about taking a tight run, he said bring it on, he let down that fast I was in and out before they knew I was there.”
Masked Crusader improved on his lead-up third to Savatiano in Randwick’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), relishing his first start on the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit to become a Group 1 winning galloper at his 10th career run.
It was an eye-catching performance by the horse who Pike moved off the rail to slip through between Pippie and the eventual second-placegetter Portland Sky, Masked Crusader now four-from-four over 1200m.
The William Reid Stakes results – rounded out by Anthony Cummings’ beaten favourite Libertini in third – took his earnings up over half-a-million-dollars.
Pike meanwhile is now equal with Luke Currie on four Victorian Group 1 victories for the season.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was thrilled with the result, which has added to the value of the horse’s Victorian sire Toronado.
“Three back the fence and they were running hard, it was just perfect,” he said.
“I still can’t believe he got that needle-eye gap … the last 100m was a bit of a blur.
“It was a great move to bring him down from Sydney and get the Group 1.
“It’s a great thing for Toronado, he’s a Victorian stallion, I’m a proud Victorian, it was good for a Victorian horse bought out of William Inglis to get the job done.”
2021 William Reid Stakes Results
|1||6||MASKED CRUSADER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||William Pike||2||58.5kg||$7|
|2||12||PORTLAND SKY||Matt Laurie||Mark Zahra||2.5L||1||56kg||$11|
|3||8||LIBERTINI||Anthony Cummings||Tommy Berry||2.9L||11||56.5kg||$4.40F|
|4||13||SEPTEMBER RUN||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||3.4L||10||54kg||$10|
|5||7||FLIT||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||3.5L||6||56.5kg||$26|
|6||2||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Chris Parnham||3.6L||9||58.5kg||$19|
|7||11||BROOKLYN HUSTLE||Jason Warren & Dean Krongold||Damian Lane||3.9L||7||56.5kg||$9|
|8||14||SWATS THAT||Leon & Troy Corstens||John Allen||4L||4||54kg||$8.50|
|9||3||ELITE STREET||Daniel Morton||Jye McNeil||4.1L||3||58.5kg||$31|
|10||9||PIPPIE||Chris Meagher||Noel Callow||4.2L||8||56.5kg||$19|
|11||4||INDIAN PACIFIC||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||4.95L||12||58.5kg||$26|
|12||1||HEY DOC||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||7.45L||5||58.5kg||$8|
|5||ANCESTRY||Phillip Stokes||Michael Poy||0|
|10||BELLA VELLA||Will Clarken||Jason Collett||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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