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Willie Pike says he will celebrate his birthday with a cup of tea and a block of chocolate

Willie Pike says he will celebrate his birthday with a cup of tea and a block of chocolate after riding four winners at Mornington.

Champion Perth jockey Willie Pike’s hit-and-run visit to Melbourne has paid off handsomely with four winners at Mornington on Saturday including a feature race double.

Pike’s weekend commenced at The Valley on Friday night where his solitary ride, Masked Crusader, landed the feature race, the Group 1 William Reid Stakes.

The jockey celebrated his birthday on Saturday with a book of six rides, starting with an unplaced effort aboard Takumi in the Asset Painting Services Handicap (2000m).

He then went on a winning streak on Ginger Jones, Dom To Shoot, Mount Popa, in the Listed Mornington Cup, and finally Laverrod in the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m).

Pike’s final ride for the afternoon, Imperial Lad in the Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap (1600m), finished second to Flandersrain.

Appreciating a fast pace set by Ancestry and Sirius Suspect, Laverrod ($7) stormed home in the Hareeba Stakes to record a three-quarter length win from How Womantic ($13) with Hightail ($8.50) 1-¼ lengths away third.

“His form has always been good but I suppose at different times he can be a bit patchy,” Pike said.

“I just said to Jake that he’s a lovely big strong horse but he’s not as strong mentally as his body is.

“Today I thought I’d ride him a bit softer. I think the speed up front was good and he got to run onto them and he enjoyed it.”

Laverrod brought up a winning double for visiting Perth trainers Sean And Jake Casey after their earlier success with Dom To Shoot in the Mornington Guineas.

“He mainly came over with Dom To Shoot to have a few races here as there’s not a lot there (in WA) for him with his rating being so high,” Jake Casey said.

“So, it’s good that they both got the job done today.”

Written by Craig Brennan

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