William Pike has Saturday, April 20, clearly marked in his diary.
For Pike, it’s not just another day at the races, it’s Quokka Day.
It’s Perth’s richest race and now worth an extra million after the $4 million inaugural edition last year.
With the race profile and prizemoney on offer there is no shortage of incentive and motive for Pike to be involved, but what role he plays hit a big snag last month.
In a major setback five weeks ago, the champion hoop fractured a heel and faces a race against time to be fit for Ascot’s autumn carnival, headlined by The Quokka.
The outlook becomes a little clearer when Pike sees a specialist next week and if he gets the report he needs the plan is to get rolling sooner than expected.
“It feels ok and the swelling has gone down heaps, but if I put any weight on it by accident it reminds you pretty quick,” Pike told The Races WA.
“I’m going to push hard to be back doing trials at around the 7 weeks (from injury) and if they pass me I can ride at the eight or nine week mark.
“There is plenty of time for The Quokka itself and I think it’s fine for the lead up races as well.
“I’m hoping to get going before the Roma Cup, or before then if my body is right.
“I don’t want to be blowing out the cobwebs.”
Apart from dealing with the physical impact on his body, Pike says his lengthy spell from the races has also given his mental stamina a bit of a test.
“I’ve never done an injury like this before, always hands or shoulders, somewhere where you can still be effective,” Pike said.
“With this I can’t do anything, I can’t even carry a cup of tea, it’s a pain in the neck.
“You go through good and bad phases, but there’s no drama, I just want to get moving again.”
Driving Pike’s Quokka motivation is exciting three-year-old talent, Oscar’s Fortune.
Pike and the Rich Enuff gelding have teamed up for four wins and two seconds in six starts.
After winning the Placid Ark Prelude, Oscar’s Fortune ran second in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes and Listed Placid Ark Stakes.
Racing under the Loloma Farms banner, Oscar’s Fortune is one of three confirmed slot holders for The Quokka.
Pike absence from WA racing since January 17 hasn’t affected his top standing in Perth’s Jockey premiership.
He’s booted home 66 city winners to be 15 clear of his next rival, Chris Parnham.
Pike holds second position in the Australian premiership with 105 wins, five behind James Orman.