Pike steers Royal Command to maiden win
William Pike finished a weekend to forget with a win on Sunday, riding promising gelding Royal Command to an impressive victory at the Bunbury Turf Club.
The Grant and Alana Williams-trained three-year-old jumped hard from the gates, but fell back into the middle of the pack before the turn.
But the bay gelding was not to be denied a win in his third start, with Pike putting in a brilliant ride to get him across the line ahead of Bushfire Blonde and Finance.
Pike claimed the victory just a day after receiving a two-week suspension for careless riding at Ascot when he rode Galaxy Star to a win.
Pike said he was not expecting Royal Command to jump early, but went with it once he pounced.
“I was happy to press the trigger and go with it,” he said.
“Once I straightened I was (confident).
“He was off the bit quite early in his race. I got the whip in the left hand and straightened him up and I was quite happy.”
Earlier in the day, Chris Parnham rode Ross Price’s Hakuna Matata to a second-straight career victory in the $17,500 Owners Only Handicap (2238m), two weeks after his maiden win.
The five-year-old bay stallion sat nicely at the 800m and hit the turn in second, before overtaking Trap For Fools and holding off all comers to claim another win.
Brad Parnham rode the New Zealand-born Grand Cadeau to a maiden in race four, defeating Pike and pre-race favourite Middle Earth by half a head.
Parnham said he was pleased with the victory.
“It was a tough finish, I wasn’t sure I got the bob,” he said.
“I think the horse can go further as time goes on, but being his only second start, it was the perfect distance.
“I suppose (trainer) Steven Miller will see how it pulls up to see if we go any further.”
Parnham said the win was great because it held off the pack.
“Most horses in their second start get that far in front and clock off early,” he said.
“But he went on with the run, so that was good.”
The Justin Warwick-trained Quilista impressed the judges, winning by more than five lengths in the $17,500 Bunbury Subaru Roysy’s Ripper Handicap (1116m).
It was a second-straight victory for the three-year-old filly, who broke her maiden status last month in Pinjarra.
Quilista was ridden by Chris Parnham, with Justin’s daughter Lucy unable to take the saddle after suffering a concussion in a fall last week.
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