Pike puts faith in Regal Power

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Recency bias played a big part in Willie Pike choosing to ride Regal Power over Arcadia Queen in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) but after working the pair during the week, the star jockey admits there is little between them ahead of Saturday’s Group 2 contest at Caulfield.

Pike has been given the green light to ride in Melbourne for the first time since his All-Star Mile heroics after completing a period of isolation and returning a negative test for COVID-19.

The Perth-based rider partnered both Grant and Alana Williams-trained horses in separate pieces of work at Bendigo during the week.

Regal Power is returning to the scene of his All-Star Mile win in March while Arcadia Queen, who will be ridden by Damian Lane, is stepping out for the first time since tasting defeat as the $3.30 favourite in last year’s Golden Eagle.

“I was on both Regal Power and Arcadia Queen,” Pike said on RSN927.

“Regal Power felt great and Arcadia Queen worked that good, we just want to try to get her there in one piece.

“They never lose it and as soon as I sat on her, I thought that’s the horse I remember.

“It was my decision, I was pretty keen to reunite with Regal Power after the success we had here last time.

“I hadn’t seen Arcadia Queen for quite a while so I stuck with the horse that I knew at the time.

“I picked Regal Power because he’s the horse I think I can get the job done on.”

While he acknowledged that Regal Power would be at his most vulnerable first-up en route to the Cox Plate, Pike believes the five-year-old’s natural ability will carry him a long way in Saturday’s race.

The son of Pierro is rated a $6 chance in BetEasy’s market for the P.B. Lawrence, which is headed by Mystic Journey ($4.20) ahead of Savatiano ($5) and Arcadia Queen ($5.50).

“I think he’s a little bit different now than what he used to be, he was quite wayward horse when he was younger and it took me quite a few rides to work him out,” he said.

“He’s definitely at his most vulnerable (first-up) but I do think he can win the race.”

Despite him being away from home, Pike will find himself in a familiar position late on Saturday afternoon when he rides $1.75 favourite Showmanship in the last race at Caulfield.

The jockey, who set a new national record last month when he ended the season with 239 winners, has long been a go-to for punters attempting to end their Saturday with a winner in Perth.

Regal Power and Showmanship are Pike’s only two rides for the weekend and he said he was hoping to grow his Saturday books each week during his stay in Melbourne.

“Leading up to this weekend, I haven’t been able to do much because I wasn’t quite sure when I was getting out of quarantine and when my test results were coming back,” he said.

“It was very hard to chase rides.

“I’ll definitely be much more in the market and after rides after this weekend.”

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