Pike lands five winners at Ascot, wins fourth straight Railway Stakes

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Star WA jockey William Pike

It was vintage William Pike on Saturday at Ascot as he rode five winners on the 10-race card, including the champions of the Western Australian Guineas and Group 1 Railway Stakes.

Pike had three rides in the first four races and won all of them, before adding both feature races to complete the quintet.

The one affectionately known as the ‘Wizard of the West’ guided Pure Devotion home to a half-length success in race one for Bob Peters and Grant & Alana Williams, before making it a race-to-race double in the third and fourth for trainer Adam Durrant as he won on Expressionist and Proconsent.

Race-to-race doubles were the order of the afternoon at Ascot as Chris Parnham rode the winners in races five and six, before Pike made it another running double in races seven and eight.

In the seventh, Pike partnered race favourite Treasured Star in the Group 2 WA Guineas to a 1.75-length victory over Stay Safe and Devoted, who added plenty of value to the exotics.

Heading into the Railway Stakes in hot form, Pike once again donned the famous cerise and white silks as $1.45 favourite Western Empire shot for a sixth-straight win.

Meanwhile, the prolific Peters/Williams/Pike combination was aiming for its fourth consecutive Railway Stakes success.

“I knew I had the horse to get the job done,” Pike said on Sky Racing.

“The horse is in the zone, the stable’s training them so well, it’s a pleasure.

“He’s always been up and about but he’s come our way a bit.

“Before he did it a little bit his way and at times it was scary, but now he’s scary good.”

Western Empire has now won seven of his 12 starts, including the WA Derby and now a maiden Group 1 in the Railway Stakes, amassing over $1.2 million in prizemoney.

The son of Iffraaj is now the $1.60 favourite to win the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic over 1800m on December 4, while Saturday’s WA Guineas winner is the $4.50 second elect.

Group 1 racing remains at Ascot this coming Saturday as the sprinters contest the Winterbottom Stakes.

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