After the disappointment and sadness of the Perth Cup being deemed a no-race following the fall of Chili Is Hot and Dom To Shoot came a story of hope.
With the Group 2 feature set to be re-run next Saturday, Mystery Island – who won the last race of the day, the Perth Handicap – is set to take his place in the revamped field.
The six-year-old was originally an emergency.
Willie Pike – who was aboard Truly Inspired for Adam Durrant in the Cup – said he had no doubt Mystery Island would be competitive in the $500,000 stayers’ race over 2400m.
“He’ll see it out no worries at all. For the connections and everyone involved I hope he does gain a run because he deserves his spot in the field in front of some of the others, in my opinion,” he told Sky Racing.
“He’s been very consistent. The plan was to sit in the first four and out-stay them.
“He missed the kick and had to go to Plan B. He possibly could’ve learned something there.”
But Pike will not ride in the re-scheduled Perth Cup.
Instead he will feature in The Wave Day on the Gold Coast.
“Call it what you want to call it. For me, it definitely adds a bit of a curveball because I’m booked to be over in Queensland,” he said.
“So for jockeys, trainers and everyone it throws a spanner in the works.”
Foreman for winning trainer Lindsey Smith, Donna Riordan, said she would be over the moon if Mystery Island got a start in the Perth Cup.
The stayer was specifically set for that event, before dominating Sunday’s Benchmark 66, going back in grade and saluting by a length.
“It would be an absolute dream if he could get a start in the Perth Cup next week,” she said.
Pike’s triumph on the last race on the card capped a brilliant day where he rode a winning treble, earlier guiding Shaddow Fear and Alsephina to victories in race one and six.