Champion jockey William Pike could be set for further All Star Mile success with star mare Arcadia Queen drawing ideally in barrier five for the $5 million event at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
If successful Arcadia Queen, a daughter of Pierro, will give Pike his second consecutive All Star Mile victory after he led home Regal Power in last year’s race at Caulfield.
Pike said his job has been made a little easier by the barrier draw.
“Hopefully it turns out to be okay,” Pike told The Races WA.
“It looks to be perfect for her.
“There will be a few horses there who will keep me off the fence.
“I should be able to put her where I think I need too.
“There can be a lot of pressure leading to the first bend over the mile at Moonee Valley.
“I will jump her away cleanly if I can and keep her in a rhythm.
“I will have her poised and ready to make the second half the best half.
“I don’t think you need to be ruining the good finish just by worrying sitting third or fourth.”
The Grant and Alana Williams-trained Arcadia Queen, raced by Bob and Sandra Peters, enters the All Star Mile second-up after finishing second to Probabeel in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The five-year-old completed a jump out at Bendigo last week in impressive style and rounded out her All Star mile preparations with a strong and positive gallop at Moonee Valley this morning (Tuesday).
“She feels really good, she always does,” Pike said.
“She looks fantastic and has come on since her first up run.
“She’s had a jump out and a few solid gallops at Bendigo.
“The jump out at Bendigo was nice, but you do have to take it with a big pinch of salt.
“We trialled against some unraced horses and maidens.
“I wasn’t concerned by the margin, I was happy with how she felt.
“She jumped clean, relaxed and went through her gears.
“She had another nice gallop this morning and she felt good.
“She worked as good as she always does.
“She felt good doing it and was strong to the line.”
Arcadia Queen could face soft going at Melbourne with up to 15mm of rain forecast.
She confronted a soft 7 in the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last year when fifth to Sir Dragonet.
Her soft record stands at one placing from three attempts.
Pike is unfazed.
“I know there is a lot made of Arcadia Queen in the wet, but I still have confidence in her on soft and wet tracks,” Pike said.”
Before Saturday, Pike has another important engagement that recognises his stunning and record-breaking 2020-2021 season.
The superstar jockey is one of six finalists in contention for the RAC WA Sports Star Of The Year.
“It’s nice to be considered, but there is stiff opposition,” Pike said.
“It’s a nice piece of recognition that I wasn’t expecting.
“It would be nice to take it out.”
Arcadia Queen has tightened into $3.20 favouritism after the barrier draw.
Probabeel, who drew barrier 10, is next at $4
Pike considers Probabeel the biggest threat to Arcadia Queen.