The race for 2013 jockey premiership honours is literally over, with star hoop William Pike extending his lead today at Belmont with a masterful riding double. 

It will be the third time Pike has claimed the premiership, with back to back wins after warding off a stirring late challenge from Peter Knuckey last season.  

Pike’s double started aboard The Alleged ($9.00) in the HCP 1600m. Sitting one back on the rails throughout, Pike stormed the Bletchley Park 6yo to the lead inside the final furlong, holding off the brave Full Steam Ahead ($14.00) by 1 ¼ lengths. The second leg of the Pike double came in the HCP 1200. Piloting last start winner When We Were Kings ($6.50), Pike nursed the McFlirt 5yo from sixth at the turn, before careering down the centre of the track for an impressive 1 ¼ length win. 

Aside from When We Were Kings, there were three other horses that claimed back to back victories today. 

In the feature race, Settle Strada ($2.50 fav) proved too strong over the concluding stages in the HG Bolton Sprint 1200m, holding off second elect Kalahaar ($4.00) to salute by a 1 ¼ lengths. Stepping up to a preferred 1400m, Spin Da Wheels ($4.80) looked the winner a long way out in the Westspeed Nursery HCP, before a barnstorming late surge from Star Of Husson ($71.00) reduced the winning margin to a mere neck, while Mr Utopia ($2.00) was also made to work in the Westspeed 3YO HCP 1600m, claiming the lead in the final stride (again) to win by a short neck. 

In other races, Jason Brown returned to scale aboard Uncle George ($6.00) following a 1 ¼ length victory in the Westspeed Stayers Bonus HCP 2200m, while Paul Harvey was successful in the saddle with Dueton ($10.00) in the Amelia Park Sprint 1000m, coming from sixth on the turn to scramble home by a neck. 

The winning ride of the day for mine was that of Troy Turner aboard Fanicio ($7.00) in the Famous Roman At Rivercrest Park HCP 1600m, when angling towards the rail on the final turn before storming home for a classy one length win. 

The Hoops / Trainers 

Hoop William Pike rode a double, while the trainers shared the spoils. 

The Tipsters 

Leading bookmaker Don Martin was all over the slow going at Belmont with an amazing spread of tips including Mr Utopia ($2.00 fav), The Alleged ($9.00), Fanicio ($7.00), Settle Strada ($2.50 fav), and brought us home with Dueton ($10.00) in the last – simply awesome. 

Blackie again found three winners – Spin Da Wheels ($4.80), eachway tip Fanicio ($7.00), and Mr Utopia ($2.00 fav) – together with the first 4 (quartet) in the second that paid $245.20, and the trifecta in the Bolton Sprint that returned $70.70. 

After cleaning up last week on the east coast, Shane continued to negotiate the dead tracks – finding Octavia ($1.95 fav) at Caulfield, before landing a nice $14 quinella in the fifth at Doomben together with last race winner Discreet ($3.20). 

The Black Book 

The run of Star Of Husson ($71.00) in the opener was a fair dinkum blinder, coming from last on the slow 7 over 1400m to get within a neck of the winner, while Tiger Pete ($6.00) and Hans Up ($2.30 fav) both rattled home late in the last – the former inconvenienced on the turn – the latter missing the start. 

Chris Blackwell