Champion jockey Willie Pike is weighing up his summer options with The Pinnacles carnival just weeks away at Ascot.
He rode four winners last Saturday including Karli’s Karma in the Eurythmic Stakes (Gr.3, 1400m), however, ‘The Wiz’ will part company with the Deep Field mare prior to her grand-final in the Railway Stakes (Gr.1, 1600m) on November 25.
Pike is already booked for Alsephina and he’s counting the days before the Star Turn mare returns from a 10-month spell. She was last seen extending her record to 9 wins from 11 starts in the La Trice Classic (Gr.3, 1800m) on New Year’s Day.
Alsephina (5m Star Turn – Delta Gee by Street Cry) is trained by Grant & Alana Williams and firmed into a $5 favourite for the Railway Stakes ahead of interstate raiders Tuvalu ($9) and Cascadian ($13) after claiming a Lark Hill trial over 1450m on October 16.
Settling well back in the field, she joined in at the furlong to win untouched from her Pinjarra Cup-winning stablemate Casino Seventeen (Casino Prince). “She’s been working really well and I’m itching to get aboard on race day,” Pike said.
“I’m fortunate to have many options but I’m really looking forward to riding her. She’s so versatile and that makes it much easier for me.”
Pike and Team Williams combined with Peters Investments to win the Railway five times with Elite Belle (2014), Galaxy Star (2018), Regal Power (2019), Inspirational Girl (2020) and Western Empire (2021).
“I said she was my Railway horse twelve months ago,” Grant Williams recalled. “She’s coming along the same program as some of our other Railway-winning mares. She’s like a pony at home and relaxes in her races while knowing there’s a job to be done.”
Alsephina was bred by G&G Bloodstock owners Michael & Carolyn Grant who race her in a partnership that includes Grant & Alana, Neil Pinner, Tony Buhagiar, Chris Chalwell and Tim McLernon. The Grants also raced her dam Delta Gee to victory in the 2009 Natasha Stakes (LR, 2200m) at Ascot.
Alsephina is one of a dozen black-type performers from the same 2018 crop sired by Star Turn led by Stakes winners Startantes (G1 Tatt’s Tiara), Me Me Lagarde (LR Gold Coast Classic), Miss Hipstar (LR Dalrello Stakes), Cordyceps Six (G3 Sha Tin Vase) and Golden Monkey (LR Singapore Derby).
Star Turn returned phenomenal figures last season across Australia and New Zealand with a 65% winners-to-runners strike-rate. He was the top-ranked stallion by a country mile among sires who are currently active on either side of the Tasman.
Vinery stands Star Turn for a $27,500 (inc. GST) service fee, payable on a live foal. For bookings or further information, contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).