The Wizard Of The West William Pike produced some of his magic to steer Top Of The Range to a last stride win in the Group 3 $400,000 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) at Bendigo today.
Perth’s champion hoop settled the Mike Moroney trained Top Of The Range in the second half of the field but when the field packed up on the home turn, Pike looked in trouble with no where to go.
But in a twinkling of an eye, Top Of The Range ($8) was switched back to the inside when the field fanned at the 250m and Pike was able to push up along the fence to grab the Chris Waller trained Brimham Rocks ($6) in the shadows of the post for a head victory.
The stablemate of the winner Hang Man ($13) also made up good ground from the back to claim third spot.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Sully was sent out as the $5 favourite for the Bendigo Cup but after racing on the pace, faded slightly in the straight to finish in seventh position, three lengths from the winner.
“I didn’t have the early speed and I thought I might have been a couple of spots closer than that and got edged to the fence,” Pike said.
“I was happy with the run I had in transit but I just needed somewhere to go.”
“We bunched up and had to go searching but luckily we got there before it was too late.”
“I had to come back and double check that my number was up there because I have run a lot of close seconds and pretty much a bridesmaid on my visits and hopefully keep the form going through our carnival coming up.”
Moroney was happy with the run of both his horses, Top Of The Range and Hang Man and couldn’t complain about the rides on both stayers.
“A great ride. Both of my two horses were ridden terrifically well, both great rides, just that the other horse stays better than Hang Man does,” Moroney said.
“Good rides on both of them.”