William Pike was able to shake off a Victorian hoodoo when he produced a stunning ride on Top Of The Range to win the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) on Wednesday.
Perth race fans are no strangers to watching the heroics of William Pike in the saddle, but he was finally able to display his sublime skills on the east coast.
Top Of The Range’s bid for victory looked in grave danger when he was caught behind a wall of horses at the top of straight, but Pike didn’t panic.
He switched to the inside and once clear passing the 100m, Top Of The Range responded with a driving finish to grab Brimham Rocks on the line.
Pike and Top Of The Range, trained by Mike Moroney, went one better as a combination after running second in the Adelaide cup (3200m) in March.
Despite anxious moments for punters who took the $8 available for the gelding, Pike said he was confident of victory if he could find a way through traffic.
“I was following the horses that I wanted to,” Pike said.
“I was happy with the run I had in transit.
“I just needed to find somewhere to go.
“We had to go searching, but luckily we got there before it was too late.”
Pike’s victory on Top Of The Range ends a lean spell in Victoria. He has gone close in his previous 55 odds rides and finally breaks a 12-year drought.
But with such a short margin separating Top Of The Range and Brimham Rocks, he kept celebrations on hold.
“I had to double check my number was up because I’ve run a lot of close seconds,” Pike said.
“I’m very much a bridesmaid on my visits.
“I’m glad to get it off my back and hopefully keep the form up with our (Perth) carnival coming up.”