Image: Steve Hart
William Pike has not lost confidence in Sheeza Belter and believes the Perth-owned filly has genuine claims to win the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Coming off outstanding form last year, the Group 1 winning three-year-old has been beaten twice in her Sydney campaign, but William Pike expects her to bounce back again.
A member of the Peter and Paul Snowden camp, Sheeza Belter ran seventh in the Light Finger Stakes (1200m) and eighth in the Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
Although her numerical form doesn’t read well, Pike says Sheeza Belter is going better than it appears and with the right run he rates her chances in the Coolmore highly.
“I think she is going really good,” Pike told The Races WA.
“First-up from a tricky alley I went too far forward.
“Second up I went too far back on a slow speed.
“She drew sticky and was pretty fresh first-up.
“Last start I was a bit over cautious and she didn’t jump as clean.
“She feels like she is fine and her sectionals have been fantastic.
“I just need to nail the ride and give her the run she needs to win such a race.”
In a perfect scenario Pike would like Sheeza Belter to jump from a low draw.
In the Light Finger Stakes she started from barrier 10 of 12 and in the Surround Stakes nine of 13.
But Pike says an improved barrier draw is not necessarily the key to Sheeza Belter’s success.
“In a perfect world we draw one or two and take all the thinking out of it,” Pike said.
“But I’m not too concerned by the draw.
“Instead of trying to ride the race where I think I need to be I think I just need to ride her where she wants to be.”
Pike and Sheeza Belter are no strangers to Group 1 success, combining to win the J.J.Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm last year.
Winning at the elite level in Queensland was the high point in an outstanding 2022 campaign.
She also won the Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm before returning as a three-year-old to take out the Group 2 Hot Danish (1400m) at Rosehill.
“I haven’t won a Group 1 in Sydney,” Pike said.
“It would be nice to tick that box.”
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