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.

Royal Request, above, is one of the main chances in the 2017 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Royal Request, above, is one of the main chances in the 2017 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

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

“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 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 $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
8 696x172x17 UNBREAKABLE G 5 Michael Hickmott 8 56kg 80
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
12 1321616953 LIEDER G 5 Michael Hickmott 12 54kg 75
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
20 x8737x7698 SUPERCOACH G 8 Danny Penna 20 54kg 69
21 76784×3524 SPARTAN EAGLE G 10 Bob Richard 21 54kg 69
22 1x0780x772 NEW EMPIRE G 8 Garry Lefoe 22 54kg 61


About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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