Perth’s leading rider William Pike is confident that Delicacy has the ability to overcome a horror barrier drew in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Pike had the choice to ride Delicacy or Real Love, both owned by prominent West Australian Racing identity Bob Peters, and is still giving the the Al Maher mare a great chance even though she drew the outside barrier in the fifteen horse field.
“It was very hard to pick one over the other to be honest,” Pike told the West Australian.
“I tried to find excuses for riding one and getting off the other, but I really couldn’t split them.”
Pike rode Delicacy in a special gallop last Friday and was very pleased with the way she completed her work which helped him make his decision.
“I was very happy with her work,” Pike said.
Real Love has drawn barrier thirteen with Damien Oliver to ride the Adam Durrant trained mare.
Pike has forged a good association with Delicacy since her early three year old days and has taken her to the winner’s stall four times.
Delicacy has had one run back in preparation for the Railway Stakes and Pike was aboard when she ran third to Railway Stakes rival Black Heart Bart in the Group 2 $250,000 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 7.
Pike said that the Grant Williams trained four year old mare was very versatile and she would be able to find a way to overcome the wide barrier.
“She is very comfortable wherever you put her in a race,” Pike said.
“That’s the beauty of riding her because she can go forward or settle back and she is comfortable. She is just such a versatile racehorse.”
Delicacy grabbed the headlines during the Autumn Carnival earlier in the year, winning six race races on the trot, including two Oaks and two Derbys.
The then three year old filly took out the Group 3 $250,000 Reliance Partners W.A. Oaks (2400m) and the Group 2 $400,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C Derby (2400m) both at Ascot in Perth with Pike before heading to Adelaide.
Peter Hall was then given the reins and Delicacy didn’t let her growing band of followers down with wins in the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (registered as Australasian Oaks) (2000m) and the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) both at Morphettville.
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Despite her horror barrier, Delicacy has been installed the $4.20 favourite for the Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Black Heart Bart and Real Love share the second line at betting at $5 ahead of the Chris Waller trained Good Project at $7.50 and last Saturday’s R.J. Peters Stakes winner Hazzabeel at $9.50.
Railway Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Delicacy, $5 Black Heart Bart, Real Love, $7.50 Good Project, $9.50 Hazzabeel, $13 Messene, $19 Wink And A Nod, Balmont Girl, $21 Battle Hero, $26 Mr Utopia, Special Delivery, Fuchsia Bandana, $41 Tower Of Lonhro, $51 My Sister Lil, $67 Bass Strait.