Champion West Australian jockey William Pike has secured the Caulfield Cup ride on French import Port Guillaume.
A winner at four of six starts, Port Guillaume is currently rated a $15 chance with TAB for Saturday week’s Group 1 2400m feature.
Pike’s ability to ride the stayer at 52.5kg in the cup led to his booking.
A three-length winner of the Group 2 Prix Hocquart (2500m) in August, Port Guillaume will be trained by Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes for his Australian campaign.
“William’s pretty happy to secure the ride for great trainers like Tom and Ben,” Pike’s racing manager Dale Verhagen said.
“We just wanted the horse to land safely on the flight last week before we committed and that happened.
“There were a few other rides floating around with lighter weights, but 52.5 is comfortable for William.
“I’ve watched his runs in France and if you take away his last run where he had genuine excuses, his form is exceptional.”
Pike will get his first feel of Port Guillaume when he rides him at Werribee’s international quarantine centre this week.
The Northern Hemisphere three-year-old was a beaten favourite when running last in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris (2400m) last start.
However, he was trapped three-wide on top of a hot speed in the early stages before fading badly.
Pike now has a ride in the $5 million Caulfield Cup and the $5 million Cox Plate, if WA mare Arcadia Queen makes the final field.
The Bob Peters-owned Arcadia Queen will have her final lead-up run to the Cox Plate in Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Pike’s Melbourne Cup ride, Schabau, is likely to run in the Hotham Handicap (2500m) at Flemington on October 31 in a bid to secure a Cup start.
Schabau ran fourth for Pike in Saturday’s Bart Cummings Stakes (2510m) at Flemington.
Originally published asPike picks up Port mount in Cup
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