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Dream Team capture Railway glory

4 min read
Leviathan owner/breeder Bob Peters captured his third win in the G1 Kirin Railway S. thanks to a brilliant ride from William Pike aboard Galaxy Star (Redoute's Choice).

Western Australia's dream team of owner Bob Peters, trainers Grant and Alana Williams and jockey William Pike have captured the G1 Kirin Railway S. at Ascot with brilliant mare Galaxy Star (Redoute's Choice).

The trio had already celebrated victories in the Listed Magic Millions Tattersall's Cup and the G2 Sky Racing WA Guineas before Pike produced one of his best-ever rides to get Galaxy Star home in the $1 million Railway S.

It was a particularly sweet success for Peters, WA's premier owner and breeder for over 20 years, as Galaxy Star became just his third winner in the race, following the successes of Elite Belle (Canny Lad) in 2014 and Old Comrade (Old Spice) in 2001.

"They say that mares don’t win the Railway very often, but she's a good mare, " Peters said afterwards. "This is definitely the hardest race in this state to win."

"This is definitely the hardest race in this state to win." - Owner, Bob Peters

Peters has managed Galaxy Star's career perfectly, giving her plenty of time to develop and targeting this race from a very early stage.

"This is the race we aimed for with this filly. This carnival has been the aim since she was foaled. We’ve looked after her and it’s great when a plan comes together," he said.

It was the 6-year-old's 10th win in 13 starts and with a Group 1 under her belt, she will likely head towards another top-line feature in the G1 Kingston Town Classic on December 8.

"There's not much else for her to aim for," Peters said.

Beyond that, Peters is considering targets in Melbourne and Sydney in the autumn.

Grant Williams, Bob and Sandra Peters and Alana Williams

Pike's produces a gem

While she started the race as favourite, it wasn't a victory without drama, with Pike finding himself in a difficult position after Galaxy Star missed the start slightly and ended up at the back of the field.

While there was plenty of pace on, it looked as though she needed a miracle to get herself into contention, but Pike produced an exceptional ride tracking through along the rail, getting her into the clear and then surging home over the top of her rivals to win by 1.25l. Gatting (Hard Spun {USA}) was second with Material Man (Vital Equine {Ire}) third.

"I was terrified in the run," Pike admitted. "I had my excuses, I was waiting to go through them."

"You have to sit and make the best of a bad situation, sit and hope something happens up in front for you." - Jockey, William Pike

"Your hand is already dealt, you can't do anything about it. You have to sit and make the best of a bad situation, sit and hope something happens up in front for you."

"Nothing happened for a long time, then a few little things opened up. Gatting kept picking his way through and I kept following him. At the top of the straight. I wasn't sure if I should bide my time on the inside, but I saw a gap out wide and made my move for it."

The one person who never really lost faith in Pike and Galaxy Star was trainer Grant Williams.

"Willy is that good at what he does, I could see what he was doing." - Trainer, Grant Williams

"Willy is that good at what he does, I could see what he was doing. They were all worried about getting off the fence because of Wrinkly (the leader) and they were all out wide. He just chanced his hand and trusted the mare, it was a great ride," he said.

William Pike winning the G1 Railway S.

A dream day

Williams said afterwards it was one of his greatest moments in racing, particularly after Arcadia Queen (Pierro) had earlier proved herself the best 3-year-old in Perth with a dominant win in the G2 WA Guineas.

"This one (Galaxy Star), we’d always hoped she'd be able to do something like this and then just the strength of Mr Peters and his stable and all the horses he has coming through, we might have next year's winner too," he said.

Alana and Grant Williams

Peters and the Williams have a few decisions to make whether their two stars clash in the Kingston Town Classic, with Williams admitting he had a 'few sleepless nights' ahead of him.

Pike would also have a decision to make, and would no doubt get first choice, having ridden an amazing four winners for Peters on Saturday.

As well as Arcadia Queen and Galaxy Star, Mississippi Belle (High Chaparral {Ire}) won the Listed Tattersalls' Cup and Pike nearly bought the grandstand down when he charged home to win the last on Royal Statue (Statue of Liberty {USA}) for Peters and trainer Adam Durrant.