Pike selects Arcadia Dream as WATC Derby mount

Perth’s leading jockey William Pike has selected Arcadia Dream as his mount for the Group 2 $400,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C Derby (2400m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.

Pike had to choose between the Grant Williams trained stablemates W.A. Oaks winner First Impressions, last start beaten Oaks favourite Arcadia Dream and Heart Starter.

The runaway leader in the Perth jockey’s premiership decided to stick with Arcadia Dream in the W.A.T.C Derby even though the filly was beaten as an odds on favourite when second to First Impressions in the Group 3 $250,000 Kirin Megumi W.A. Oaks (2400m) at Ascot on April 2.

Glenn Smith gets to stick with First Impression after the pair combined to win the W.A. Oaks and Jarrad Noske takes over from Pike on Heart Starter.

“I thought I’d have a tough choice between Arcadia Dream and Heart Starter,” Pike told the West Australian.

“But then Arcadia Dream was beaten by the stablemate and Heart Starter was also beaten.

“That made it even tougher.”

Pike has been the regular rider for Arcadia Dream since the 2015 Perth Summer Carnival and the pair combined to win the Listed $100,000 Ascend Sales Trophy Aquanita Stakes (1800m) at Ascot.

Arcadia Dream’s Autumn Carnival form has been consistent with Pike on board when second to Dreamtime Dancer in the Listed $100,000 Schweppes Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m) at Ascot on March 5 before the pair combined to win the Listed $100,000 Natasha Stakes (2200m) at Ascot a fortnight later.

The Domesday filly was then sent out as the $1.65 favourite for the W.A. Oaks but found the stablemate and $20 outsider First Impressions too strong on the day.

At her previous start First Impressions was beaten nine lengths by Arcadia Dream when seventh in the Natasha Stakes.

In the other feature race on Saturday’s program, the Group 3 $200,000 Auto Classic BMW W.A. Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) for the two year olds, Pike will ride the Daniel Morton trained Saul’s Special.

Pike will take over from Lucy Warwick who as aboard the Charge Forward colt when an unlucky third to Whispering Brook in the Group 2 $500,000 Amelia Park Karrakatta Plate (1200m) at Ascot on April 2.

“There was nothing wrong with Lucy’s ride,” Saul’s Special’s owner Craig Thompson said.

“It’s just William was available.”

Pike currently leads the Perth jockey’s premiership on eighty-nine wins, fifty ahead of his nearest rival Lucy Warwick on thirty-nine.

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.