Western Australian jockey William Pike was delighted to be rewarded with a Group 1 on his return to his home state when Inspirational Girl ran out a ready winner of the Railway Stakes (1600m) on Saturday. The man dubbed the Wizard from the West is keen to maintain the association with the daughter of Reliable Man as she heads towards the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Prepared by Grant and Alana Williams for prominent owner Bob Peters, Pike said he was impressed by how much Inspirational Girl had strengthened since he rode her last. “She used to get off the bridle and struggle a bit, whereas on Saturday I was getting a lot of pressure early and she wore it very well. I think that is what won us the race,” he said of the five-year-old mare.
“I would be more than happy to stick with her heading to the Kingston Town. She does get four kilos more under the weight-for-age conditions, but I don’t think it will matter too much. I think she is looking pretty good.”
The New Zealand bred five-year-old provided Peters with his fifth Railway Stakes win and the successful owner confirmed the Kingston Town was on the agenda. “That is the logical step. She has pulled up well. The top five in the Railway she will meet worse at the weights, but the rest she will meet quite well at the weights,” Peters said.
The first four home in from Saturday’s Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) are likely to pursue starts in the $1 million feature as well, with Peters keen to gain a run with promising three-year-old Western Empire. The son of Iffraaj was luckless when fourth in the Guineas after jumping from barrier 15 and has now placed in two of his three starts to date and looks very promising. “It was the barrier – he was wide all the way but came home very well,” Peters said.
The leviathan owner, who breeds the majority of his stock, has shopped exceptionally well at Karaka and in addition to snaring Inspirational Girl for $190,000 from the Jamieson Park draft, returned to the scene where he bought a full brother to Verry Elleegant for $140,000 from the Grangewilliam Stud draft earlier this year. “I was over there again this past year and had been admiring Verry Elleegant,” Peters said.
“I had a look at him at the sales and he had a bit of a knock on his leg and I think a few people might have been a bit worried about that. “It is also very much a staying breed which people don’t look for. It was only because of her that I bought him. “I very rarely buy a male at the sales, or a filly for that matter, but I thought he was worth a try because of what she’d been doing.”