The Wizard Weaves His Magic by The Gurkha
The brilliance of the state’s leading jockey William Pike was to the fore when he was able to lift Defy Me home to win the final of the Golden City Motors Stayers Final in a thrilling three way finish from Secret Glow and Kalahanhi.
Pike was making his first appearance at the KBRC for the season at the request of Dan Morton who contracted the “Wizard” to ride some of his runners on Sunday.
Unfortunately for Morton, Pike was not able to get one home for the Ascot based trainer but Peter Fernie the trainer of Defy Me became the beneficiary of Pikes visit to Kalgoorlie.
In one of the best finishes seen at the old course all season the three place getters came away from the rest of the small field to stage a battle royale with a short half head and a head separating the placings on the line with three lengths back to the front runner Morsecodian back in fourth.
“That felt great to ride the winner of the main race and in such a close finish.” Pike told The Gurkha “I thought my horse dug really deep over the concluding stages and gave me all he had.”
Pike returned from a three month stint riding in Hong Kong to clinch the City Jockeys Premiership from a fast finishing Peter Knuckey and since his return has been able to win the main race on three separate programs.
He snared the Belmont Classic on Elusive Image, the Beaufine Stakes on Megems Boy and now the Stayers Final on Defy Me.
“It is always good to ride any winner but there is always something special when you win the main race.”
The win by Defy Me was the seventh victory for Pike since he returned from his overseas assignment and has the natural light weight in top form.
“There is nothing better for a jockey’s confidence than riding winners.
It doesn’t matter where they are. I love coming back to Kalgoorlie and winning the feature races over the Round is still a goal of mine.”
The big races over the Round have eluded Pike with a dead heat win on Heavenly Business with Morocco Bound in the 2005 Coolgardie Cup his only major victory to date.
“For a former Coolgardie lad I need to lift my game. Teaming up with Dan Morton will hold me in good stead. Galileto who I won on last Saturday at Belmont Park gave me a good feel and the big races over the Round would not be beyond him.”
“Defy Me will only get better because he wanted to over race a bit on Sunday heading to the Round and the locals are always hard to beat on game day!” Pike concluded Chui Making His Mark Marco Chui rode his first winner at the KBRC aboard Albertani who cleared out to easily win the Alexandre Dufour and Ian Price Handicap (1600m).
Chui had no hesitation taking Albertani to the lead and was able to rate the strong looking son of Stratum to perfection, kicking clear at the top of the lane and having plenty left on the line to hold out Master Beckett and Toss’N’Spin.
The left handed whip rider pushes hard from low in the saddle and race goers watching on TV would easily make the observation that this is a talented jockey.
Chui has been a journey man throughout his career, commencing his career as a jockey in Coffs Harbour where he was apprenticed to Trevor Hardy and rode for almost 16 months before deciding to return to Hong Kong and recommence his apprenticeship against the best riders in the world.
From 2005 till 2008 Chui plied his trade, culminating with the Hong Kong apprentice’s title in 2007 riding over 90 winners in the former colony.
The natural light weight goes to scale at 51 kg was enticed to come to Perth by his friend and fellow jockey Thomas Yeung who was studying in Perth at the time.
“Thomas suggested I come to Perth to ride over here as the racing and lifestyle is great.” Chui told The Gurkha. “I came across almost 12 months ago and teamed up with John Claite who helped me become established.”
“I ride mostly for Brendan Fitzgerald, Stan Bates and Ken McAullay as well as many other trainers.”
“Albertani felt like a horse with a future. We found the front and from there he gave me the feel like no horse was going to get past me.”
“I came and rode in Kalgoorlie during the Round last year and I’m glad to have ridden my first winner here.”
Ironically Yeung also rode in Kalgoorlie and shared the excitement of his mate Chui’s first win on the Goldfields.
“Thomas finished his studies and went back to Hong Kong. He decided to start riding again and I suggested to him that he should come back to Perth.”
“He is a very good jockey. He has ridden many winners in Hong Kong mainly for big stables like John Moore and Tony Cruz.”