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Willie Pike to mount a Queensland group 1 assault?

West Australian Racing

Willie Pike’s first riding mission in Queensland may not just be confined to the Gold Coast with the star jockey keen to explore the possibility of riding at Group 1 winter carnival meetings in the Sunshine State.

Perth-based Pike has been riding winners for fun during fly-in, fly-out visits to Victoria where he has piloted four Group 1 winners and established himself as one of the country’s most sought-after jockeys.

Pike’s visit to the Gold Coast to ride on Gold Coast Cup-Hollindale Stakes day on May 8 will be a family affair with partner Jessica and kids Jett and Aspen to come for a holiday that week.

Pike’s manager Dale Verhagen indicated Pike may ride in Perth on both the weekend before the Gold Coast meeting and on the Saturday after.

The Group 3 Northam Stakes is on May 2 in WA and the Group 3 Roma Cup is being staged in the west on May 15.

If Pike chose to stay in WA for the Roma Cup it would preclude him from riding at the first Group 1 meeting of the Queensland winter carnival with the Doomben 10,000 being staged on the same day.

There are other Listed races and Group races in WA scattered throughout the winter months and Pike’s plans for those meetings could depend on what horses prominent WA owner Bob Peters has targeting them.

However the wizard of the west is keen to explore opportunities over during the Queensland winter carnival which features eight Group 1s headlined by Stradbroke Handicap day on June 12.

Verhagen indicated that, for starters, Group 1 Doomben Cup Day on May 22 would be a “definite possibility” for Pike if there were suitable rides.

“I‘d say there would be a decent chance of him coming back to Queensland to ride (after the Gold Coast meeting) but it would really just be a matter of seeing what was around at the time,” Verhagen said.

“For a meeting here and there, if he was going to get good rides, he is always interested.“

Pike has ridden more than 2600 career winners but has never ridden in Queensland before.

The champion WA jockey is looking forward to riding at the Gold Coast but it was the prospect of a working holiday with his family which really sealed the deal.

“The timing fitted in really well and the opportunity for him to come away with his partner and kids for a holiday is a big attraction for him,” Verhagen said.

“They have spent a lot of time apart through spring and the autumn.”

Ben Dorries, Racenet"

I like it overall a perfect idea as kids love the Goldy..hopefully this latest outbreak in Qld won't stuff the plans up but should be cleared up by then.

Reckon the Hawkes team and others will have quality rides for him on whatever race days he is there.Bob's relatively quiet in winter but may send one or two worthy also? 


  • ThunderstruckThunderstruck    4,827 posts
    Is back on the road to Caulfield for Vobis day on the 17th April..dependent a bit on what weight he gets i'll be on So Si Bon one of his rides on the day, he also rides Rodlaver for the Casey's...and i'll probably back just about anything the Hawkes Melbourne stable has engaged for him 

  • thefalconthefalcon    17,527 posts
    so si bon..isn't it that old gelding the hayes's have...?

    i doubt dear old rod laver would like pike on his back, riding him and giving him a few whacks from the persuader.

    then again.......

    Thunderstruck likes this post.

  • ThunderstruckThunderstruck    4,827 posts
    Yep the Hayes galloper, won a listed race with 60 at Flemington 2 starts back.
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