Champion Western Australian jockey William Pike has been booked to ride Schabau in the Melbourne Cup.
The booking was announced on Thursday, with the horse’s Perth-based owners keen to put Pike on when they learnt he would be based out of Melbourne for the Spring Carnival.
The Rob Hickmott-trained gelding is a $26 chance for the Melbourne Cup, and Pike said he was thrilled to lock away a ride so early.
“It’s very nice and great to be able to secure a ride in a race like that this early,” Pike said.
“The Perth ownership had spoken to me a long time ago, and I kept an eye on it. I know the owner (Geoff Evans) well and we’ve been to lunch a few times.
“I knew about the horse and kept an eye on it. Once they got wind that I was going to be over that way, well then he said, ‘If you’re there then I’d like you to ride it’.
“It probably wasn’t a lot of chasing on anyone’s behalf, it was just good timing.”
Pike said he was unsure of when he would arrive in Victoria given the COVID-19 situation but was keen to ride Schabau in all of his lead-up runs to the Melbourne Cup.
“I’ve got to find a way there, don’t I? And make sure I’m there,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly which day I’m going to get there.
“I’d like to try and ride the horse as often as I could, right through.”