Champion jockey William Pike dominated proceedings at Ascot on Saturday, booting home four winners including two of the main feature races and with the Pinnacles carnival just weeks away it could be a portent of things to come.
Pike’s ride on Karli’s Karma was instrumental in the striking mare winning the Group 3 Eurythmic Stakes (1400m) first up that enabled young trainer Summer Dickson to revel in the biggest race success of her career.
Earlier Pike led from start to finish on exciting three-year-old Oscar’s Fortune who held on to win by a 1.5 length margin and atone after a minor mishap forced trainer Dion Luciani to scratch the gelding from the Max Simmonds a week before.
Oscar’s Fortune, unbeaten in three career starts and Karli’s Karma are sure to be prominent in rich Ascot carnival races, the former’s main target is the $500,000 Placid Ark Stakes while the latter holds entries in $1.5 million races: the Railway Stakes (1600m) and the Damien Oliver Gold Rush (1400m).
Also nominated for the Railway Stakes is the Grant and Alana Williams-trained Alsephina and Pike can wait to reunite with the improving five-year-old who has yet to miss the money with nine wins and two placings from 11 career starts.
Alsephina, the pin-up horse of the Williams’ stable, is on a six race winning streak that culminated with stakes success in the Group 3 La Trice Classic (1800m) and the Listed Starstruck Classic (1600m) at Ascot a year ago.
The daughter of Star Turn has either won or run second in four warm up trials and with Tabtouch and their all in market she is the rock-solid Railway Stakes favourite at $5, ahead of interstate raider Tuvalu $9, Perth hopeful Bustler $12 and Cascadian $12 for James Cummings.
Pike said he can’t wait to reunite with Alsephina.
“One of my main highlights coming in is Alsephina,” Pike said on Tabradio.
“She’s been trialling really well and I’m itching to get aboard on race day.
“I’m fortunate that I have many options, but I’m really looking forward to riding a horse like Alsephina.”
Pike and the Williams’ have etched their name into the Railway Stakes history book five times.
Their streak commenced in 2014 with Elite Belle and continued with Galaxy Star (2018), Regal Power (2019), Inspirational Girl (2020) and Western Empire (2021).