It seems Westie and Gin are on the mark. Hawkes, Neasham and Godolphin are interested in acquiring his services. Might not go down that well with some of their regular jockeys. https://www.racenet.com.au/news/sydneybound-perth-jockey-william-pike-humbled-by-support-determined-to-earn-stripes-in-harbour-city-20220120
Pike humbled by support, keen to earn stripes in Sydney
Jockey William Pike is keen to earn his stripes in Sydney.
By Gilbert Gardiner
01:36pm • 20 January 2022
PLEDGES of support from top Sydney trainers has humbled West Australian jockey William Pike.
Pike is hoping to be in the Harbour City next month, pending licensing and travel arrangements, to begin a forced but unintended east coast relocation.
Team Hawkes, Annabel Neasham and Godolphin have signalled a want to book the popular jockey, who cannot ride in native West Australian after February 5 under Covid vaccination requirements.
Pike forged a successful association with Team Hawkes during 2020 and 2021 Melbourne campaigns, including the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (Ole Kirk) and William Reid Stakes (Masked Crusader).
Pike combined with Team Hawkes in a further four stakes wins.
The combination in Melbourne accrued eight winners and six placings from 23 starts.
Pike also rode 16 times for Godolphin for seven placings.
“I was half expecting to go there (Sydney) just happy to get a ride,” Pike said.
“But when those names (stables) have shown some interest, definitely it is humbling.
“It could do nothing but help (settling in Sydney), having at least some relationships with them (stables), especially Hawkes … but I‘ve got to earn my stripes.”
Pike is under no illusions about competing with James McDonald, Hugh Bowman, Tommy Berry, Kerrin McEvoy and company in one of the world’s strongest racing jurisdictions.
“It’s not going to be easy, they’re not just good riders, they’re some of the best in the world and have proven it,” Pike said.
“It’s also me going into their backyard, which makes it just that bit more difficult.
“It’s (riding) one of those jobs, you do the basics right and worry about being clever later.”
While up for the new challenge, Pike has mixed emotions about the impending move triggered by his vaccination hesitancy, which stems from a bad reaction to the flu shot about 20 years ago.
The personal decision has unintentionally and unfairly made Pike, arguably Australia’s highest profile athlete to baulk at Covid vaccination, an ‘anti-vax’ icon.
“If I’m honest, I wonder why a jockey would draw so much attention over something like this,” Pike said.
“I’m not a politician, I’m not a scientist, I’m not a professor … I’m a guy who rides a horse around in a circle, why does my opinion matter so much?
“I’m doing what I think is right for me and … trying to follow what rules are set and work within them.
“I’m not an anti-vaxxer … obviously straight away I get branded an anti-vaxxer, it’s up to everyone what they do, I’m not saying people shouldn’t have it, I’m not saying people should have it.”
Pike, whose partner and two children will join him in Sydney eventually, was mentally preparing for living with Covid long before a move interstate became an option.
“I was preparing for it anyway because the borders here are opening soon, I don’t see how it wouldn’t end up in the same situation over here,” Pike said.
“It’s something we’re all going to learn to live with … you know it’s not going to stay under wraps (in WA), is it, when the borders open it’s going to do its thing.”