Leading Perth jockey William Pike is playing up the chances of local sprinter Shining Knight when he contests the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Super Saturday.
Pike and the Grant Williams trained Shining Knight have gone around in the last two runnings of the Winterbottom Stakes for a fifth to Buffering in 2013 and then a third behind Magnifisio and Watermans Bay last year.
Pike is hoping to give Shining Knight a cosy run from barrier two and if he can get his share of luck during the race feels that he will be right in the finish.
“He’s in the mix and I haven’t had a sweet run on him yet,” Pike said.
“I got caught wide on him last year and got beaten less than a length. The year before, I got beaten two lengths.
“If I can just try and give him a sweet run, he’ll look the winner at some stage.”
Shining Knight has a very good fresh record and Williams has prepared the sprinter for a first up tilt at trying to win Perth’s glamour weight for age Group 1 sprint.
The seven year old has won three and been placed twice from five first up runs and will be having his first race start since running fifth to Fuchsia Bandana in the Group 3 $150,000 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at Belmont on June 13.
Williams did give Shining Knight a 1000m barrier trial on October 23 at Bunberry, which he duly won by a length and a half.
“In the past, his best runs have always been first-up,” Pike said.
“In a couple of his Group races where he’s been first-up, he’s actually flown, so we’re going to try and pull it off that way with him.”
If you are having a bet at Ascot on Super Saturday, take advantage of Ladbrokes’ Special Railway Stakes Offer. Ladbrokes.com.au are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Railway Stakes at Ascot this Saturday, which means you can win an additional 20% on your winnings up to a maximum bet of $50.
Shining Knight is currently listed as an $11 chance for the Winterbottom Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Queensland sprinter and 2013 Winterbottom Stakes winner Buffering heads the market order at $4 ahead of ahead of the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Fast ‘N’ Rocking at $5.50, local sprinter Watermans Bay at $7.50 and last year’s Winterbottom Stakes winner Magnifisio and Lucky Street at $8.
Winterbottom Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Buffering, $5.50 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, $7.50 Watermans Bay, $8 Magnifisio, Lucky Street, $11 Shining Knight, Silverstream, $13 Rock Magic, $26 Liberty’s Gem, $34 Rommel, $41 Checkpoint, Sujet, $51 Dawn Approach, Madassa, $61 Cool Trade, $101 Akhedasset.