Pike free to ride Perfect Reflection in Ted Van Heemst Stakes

Perth’s leading jockey William Pike will be free to take the ride on Perfect Reflection in the Group 2 $250,000 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on Saturday even though he was suspended for careless last Wednesday.

Perfect Reflection ran third to Don’t Doubt Mamma, above in the Vanity at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Perfect Reflection ran third to Don’t Doubt Mamma, above in the Vanity at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

West Australian stewards found Pike guilty of careless riding after causing interference at the 150m mark in the last race of the day at Ascot on Wednesday and suspended him for thirteen days commencing at midnight on Saturday December 17.

Pike’s time out of the saddle will expire at midnight on December 30 allowing him to ride in the Group 2 $500,000 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot the next day.

Pike had been booked to ride several horses at Bunbury on Sunday but his racing manager Dale Verhagen said that he would arrange for the star jockey to be released from his Bunbury engagements.

“William has accepted the suspension and won’t appeal,” Verhagen told the West Australian.

“He’ll be out of racing from Saturday night and I’m arranging that he will get off his Bunbury rides on Sunday. The consolation is that he’s back on Perth Cup day.”

Pike is a runaway leader in the Perth jockeys premiership race with fifty-one metropolitan winnners this season and has been the regular rider for Perfect Reflection since her race day debut win in a 1206m Pinjarra Maiden in September 2015.

Pike has been aboard the Grant and Alana Williams trained mare for all her six wins which includes her narrow victory in the 2015 Group 1 $1m Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth as a three year old filly.

Perfect Reflection was then campaigned in Melbourne during the 2016 Autumn Carnival and her best effort from two starts was a third in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.

Perfect Reflection’s recent form includes a win three starts back in the Group 2 $250,000 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 5 followed by a third to Scales Of Justice in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 19.

But the More Than Ready mare failed to make it back to back wins in the Kingston Town Classic when she finished third behind the Darren Weir trained Stratum Star and Scales Of Justice.

Even though Perfect Reflection will need plenty of luck from barrier eleven in the field reduced to twelve runners following the scratchings of Bedamijo and I’m Feeling Lucky, she still remains the short priced $2.50 favourite for the Ted Van Heemst Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au.

On the second line of betting at $6.50 is her stablemate Neverland just ahead of Tradesman at $7, Zarantz at $8 and Respondent at $8.50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.