The Wizard Of The West, William Pike, has picked up rides in both Group 1 races on Super Saturday at Flemington this weekend.
Pike has been engaged to ride the Kris Lees trained Graff in the Group 1 $1.25m Seppelt Newmarket Handicap (1200m) while Lindsay Park has put the Perth premiership winning jockey on stand by to ride either Harlem or So Si Bon in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m).
“It would be nice to win a Group 1 over there on the back of the carnival I had here,” Pike told The West Australian.
“It would be something else but they don’t come easy.”
Pike is a sensation in the West and has claimed nine Perth jockey titles and is currently leading the 2018 – 2019 premiership with eighty-eight metropolitan wins, over sixty wins ahead of his nearest rival Mitchell Pateman.
Pike has ridden seven Group 1 winners in his home state but is yet to taste success at the highest level in the Eastern States.
The multiple premiership winning jockey travelled to Melbourne from Perth last week to get a feel of Graff who he rode in a Flemington jump out last Friday morning and Pike said that the three year old colt felt great and is looking forward to making the return trip to Victoria to partner him in the Newmarket Handicap.
“Graff felt very good in the jump-out and I’m happy to be going over to ride him,” Pike said.
“It’s definitely nice to have another ride on Saturday, too.”
Graff has had one run back from a spell for a first up fourth to stablemate In Her Time in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 16 and is on the second line of betting at $6 for the Newmarket Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the James Cummings trained Osborne Bulls.
Pike’s possible mounts in the Australian Cup are both at double figure odds with last year’s winner Harlem at $31 while Blamey Stakes runner up So Si Bon is marked at $51.
The James Cummings trained Avilius is the $1.85 odds on favourite for the 2019 Australian Cup.
Early betting for the 2019 Newmarket Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Osborne Bulls, $6 Graff, $9 In Her Time, Eduardo, $10 Santa Ana Lane, $12 Zousain, Sunlight, Shoals, $15 Brave Smash, Encryption, $18 Booker, Redkirk Warrior, $21 Lean Mean Machine, $26 Bons Away, $31 I’ll Have A Bit, Voodoo Lad, Whispering Brook, $41 or better the rest.