Perth’s riding whiz William Pike has been booked to ride the favourite, Lieder, in the 2017 $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on August 7.
Pike ended the 2016 – 2017 racing season as Australian’s leading jockey with 197.5 wins, just two and half wins shy of the magical two hundred mark and is keen to show off his skills in front of an expected 20,000 strong Fannie Bay crowd next Monday.
“I’m pretty excited to pick this ride up actually,” Pike told TAB Radio.
“It was a bit of a strange phone call I wasn’t expecting but Michael won the Cup last year, the horse gets in with 54(kg) and his lead-up run last start was quite good.
“It’s nice to get a phone call from people outside of your circles and that they’re thinking of you.”
Murray Bridge trainer Michael Hickmott will be striving to win back to back Darwin Cups after collecting the winning trophy last year with Canny Ballad and has a great chance with Pike booked to ride Lieder who has been installed the early $4 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
“There aren’t many better riders in Australia at 54 kilos than William Pike,” Hickmott told the West Australian.
“I’m very excited to have the great man on board.
“We bought this horse to win this race. His last-start third in a lead-up race was very good and he’ll be third-up like all my other cup winners have been.
“I’ll have a few other rides for William on the day, including Arrow Lane who won by four lengths last Saturday.”
Lieder hasn’t been in the in winner’s stall since winning a 1606m BenchMark 80 Handicap at Murray Bridge five starts back on April 25 but has earned favouritism for the Darwin Cup with a last start third behind Moon Devil and Saturday Sorcerer in the $45,000 Million Dollar Fish Buntine Handicap (1900m) at Fannie Bay on July 22.
On the second line of Darwin Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Ladbrokes NT Derby winner Billet Doux at $5 just ahead of Royal Request who is also well in the market at $5.50 after winning the $50,000 Sky Racing Metric Mile (1600m) at Fannie Bay last Saturday.
Lieder has been weighted on the 54kg minimum for the Darwin Cup while Royal Request is expected to attract a penalty for his Metric Mile win to go on top of his original weight of 59kg.
Early market order for the 2017 Darwin Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Lieder, $5 Billet Doux, $5.50 Royal Request, $7.50 Folk Tales, $8.50 Unbreakable, $11 Pretty Blonde, Saturday Sorcerer, $13 Whistle Stop, $15 Harrebs Time, $17 Abu Dhabi, Moon Devil, $21 Wexford Town, Spartan Eagle, $26 Electric Crimson, $51 Flying Tormenta, $67 New Empire, $101 Arctic Song, Best Case, Hammered Art, Overdane, Supercoach, War Story.
Weights for the 2017 Darwin Cup (2000m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||0031661831||MOON DEVIL||G||9||Kerry Petrick||1||56.5kg||81|
|2||x687732141||BILLET DOUX||G||4||Sheila Arnold||2||54kg||73|
|3||951413×631||ROYAL REQUEST||G||7||Neil Dyer||3||59kg||86|
|4||12x4521x83||PRETTY BLONDE||M||9||Kym Healy||4||57kg||86|
|5||2x33469x72||WHISTLE STOP||G||7||Dick Leech||5||57.5kg||83|
|6||878x20x00x||WEXFORD TOWN (IRE)||G||7||Michael Hickmott||6||57.5kg||83|
|7||70×5614920||WAR STORY (IRE)||G||8||Carly Cook||7||56.5kg||81|
|9||142111×195||HARREBS TIME||G||6||Tayarn Halter||9||56kg||80|
|10||1x82553x62||SATURDAY SORCERER||G||8||Jason Manning||10||55.5kg||79|
|11||26×5358324||ABU DHABI||G||5||Gary Kennewell||11||54kg||76|
|13||5×53638080||BEST CASE (NZ)||G||7||Carl Spry||13||54kg||75|
|14||3119×30215||FOLK TALES (NZ)||G||5||Richard Laming||14||54kg||74|
|15||6257×76174||FLYING TORMENTA||M||6||John Peacock||15||54kg||74|
|16||2213043×46||ELECTRIC CRIMSON (NZ)||G||8||Richard Laming||16||54kg||74|
|17||532675×416||ARCTIC SONG||G||7||Neil Dyer||17||54kg||73|
|18||087289×870||OVERDANE (GB)||G||8||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||18||54kg||72|
|19||412238Px23||HAMMERED ART||G||6||Carl Spry||19||54kg||70|
|21||76784×3524||SPARTAN EAGLE||G||10||Bob Richard||21||54kg||69|
|22||1x0780x772||NEW EMPIRE||G||8||Garry Lefoe||22||54kg||61|