Champion jockey William Pike has set his sights on winning the $200,000 Group 3 Seacorp-Hyperion Stakes (1600m) for a second time at Belmont, confident his mount Dom To Shoot can atone after a flat showing last-start.
The Sean and Jake Casey-trained Dom To Shoot started second favourite in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m), but is out to redeem himself and atone after struggling into eight position behind classy three-year-old Bustler.
Pike is prepared to overlook Dom To Shoot’s performance in the Belmont Sprint and will instead focus on his victory the start prior when he produced a sizzling run from last position to take out the Northam Stakes (1300m).
Pike, who won the 2014 Hyperion Stakes aboard Elite Belle for trainers Grant and Alana Williams, is confident Dom To Shoot can put his best foot forward in the Hyperion Stakes on Saturday.
“On face value it looked a flat and disappointing performance,” Pike said to The Races WA.
“He just never got comfortable on that track.
“It wasn’t wet, it wasn’t dry, it was quite shifty.
“That in between he just hated it and never got comfortable.
“He couldn’t gather himself to launch that devastating sprint that he has.
“At this stage I’m wholly putting it down to the track, because you saw how good he was the start before.
“I’m not one to make excuses generally like that, but I felt him underneath me.
“I’m not expecting the track (Saturday) to be as shifty and I’m expecting that turn of foot to be back.”
Dom To Shoot has drawn barrier five in the Hyperion Stakes and is currently a $6 chance in Tabtouch markets.
Bustler and The Velvet Queen, the first two across the line in the Belmont Sprint, share $3 favouritism.
“Bustler is going good and The Velvet Queen has had a run under her belt,” Pike said.
“It’s going to be hard against stiff opposition and especially young up and comers.
“They are just that much harder and don’t know their limits yet.
“But if they don’t have good runs I think I can beat them.”
Pike also says talented four-year-old Rokanori can improve second-up and will be hard to beat in the last of the day.