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William Pike secures Masked Crusader & Mount Popa rides

  • William Pike has two key engagements for the Hawkes stable later in the week
  • The champion hoop is set to partner Masked Crusader in the Manikato Stakes on Friday night
  • He will then ride Mount Popa in the Mornington Cup on Saturday
William Pike - news
William Pike will team up with the Hawkes stable again this weekend. (Getty)
Bets.com.au Staff 16 Mar 2021
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William Pike and the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes stable are set to join forces again later this week with The Races WA reporting that the champion Western Australian hoop will ride Masked Crusader in the William Reid Stakes on Friday night before partnering Mount Popa in the Listed Mornington Cup on Saturday.

Masked Crusader sits 18th on the ballot order for the March 19 sprint feature from Moonee Valley, with a capacity field of 14 allotted for the William Reid Stakes, but as currently the second favourite behind September Run, he is heavily respected in the early markets.

Following an inaugural black-type win in the Southern Cross Stakes first-up, the son of Toronado stepped straight to Group One weight-for-age company and acquitted himself well, finishing third behind Savatiano and Mizzy in the Canterbury Stakes.

Masked Crusader holds no additional nominations for this Saturday (March 20).
Mount Popa will be chasing a ballot free path into the 2021 Caulfield Cup courtesy of the Mornington Cup following a second-up victory over the in-form Sacramento in the Listed Randwick Stakes (2000m).

Irrespective of the result on March 20, the lightly raced import is likely to spell ahead of 2021 spring after Saturday's 2400m attempt which will be his first time stepping out past 10 furlongs in Australia, however, he did win over over this distance in Europe.

William Pike and Team Hawkes famously combined on Caulfield Guineas day last spring which saw them record a winning double via Ole Kirk (Caulfield Guineas) and Dirty Work (Schillaci Stakes) on a card where 'The Wizard' also bagged a winning treble.

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