William Pike seeking Fortune change in G1 Winterbottom Stakes

In William Pike’s mind it’s the race that got away and he’s determined to claw back favour in Saturday’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.

Pike is as competitive a rider that is going around who doesn’t take losses too lightly and Oscar’s Fortune’s last-start defeat is one that still rankles with him.

Pike felt justified in thinking he had the Placid Ark Stakes well within his grasp when Oscar’s Fortune set up a lead in the straight, but then came Ripcord.

The classy three-year-old appeared no chance in the run home, but produced an unbelievable finishing sprint from last to nab Oscar’s Fortune on the line.

That Pike was beaten in a photo and Oscar’s Fortune’s pride was pricked after he suffered the first loss of his career only added to Pike’s woes.

He’s determined to atone in Perth’s rich sprint, a race he’s enjoyed success with in the past after guiding Graceful Girl (2022), Hadabeclorka (2011) and Ellicorsam (2005).

“I’m pretty happy to stick with him and obviously until last start he was unbeaten and a flying machine,” Pike said on Tabradio.

“I got beat on the day, but I think a few conditions were against me, it was hard to lead and win on the day.

“I think on a normal Ascot day I win and win well.

“Ripcord ran sensational and you can’t take anything away from him, he was back, he was wide, sustained a run and kept running right through the line.

“There was merit everywhere, but in general on another day on a normal Ascot I think I win that race and head into the Winterbottom with a fair bit of talk.

“I’m happy to stick with him and not change him at all either.”

Oscar’s Fortune, trained by Dion Luciani, confirmed a spot in the Winterbottom Stakes after owner Kevin Fowler knocked back interstate and international offers for the Rich Enuff gelding.

The barrier draw for the Winterbottom Stakes will be conducted Tuesday morning at Ascot.

Meanwhile, Pike is certain Alsephina can breakthrough in the Northerly Stakes (1800m) in a fortnight.

The Star Turn mare ran second to Bustler in the Railway, her third straight runner-up finish after the Asian Beau Stakes and Peters Stakes.

“I know she hasn’t won this preparation, but she’s been beaten a length in her three starts,” Pike said.

“Each time she’s right there, she’s competitive and is going really well.

“Between us all I might tinker with my tactics and the team (Grant & Alana Williams) will tinker with something back home to see if we can find that length.

“We’re not that far from winning one of these major races.

“I definitely wouldn’t be swapping her for any other ride.”

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

Bookmaker Why Bet Sign Up Full Review
Bet Now at ladbrokes Back Yourself with Ladbrokes! Join Review
Bet Now at neds Back a Winner with Neds! Join Review
Bet Now at palmerbet Sign up to Unibet and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at tab Sign up to TAB and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at playup Sign up to PlayUp and start betting in minutes! Join Review