Racing

Four for Kranji's double feature

Pike to ride in Friday's El Dorado Classic, while Pinheiro, Lane and Zahra competing in Sunday's Raffles Cup

Perth multiple champion jockey William Pike will be back for another big assignment on Friday - to ride King Louis in the $150,000 Group 3 Ultima El Dorado Classic over 2,000m.

Three others - Bernardo Pinheiro, Damian Lane and Mark Zahra - have been booked to ride Mr Clint, Blizzard and Mister Yeoh respectively in the $800,000 Group 1 Raffles Cup over 1,600m on Sunday.

This will be Pike's 10th visit.

Though he has yet to score any feature win at Kranji, the 33-year-old has ridden four winners - Chairman, Mr Crowe, King Of War and Really Capable - all earned in 2017.

The closest he came to winning a big race here was that same year - when second in the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby and Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup with Lim's Samurai and Bahana respectively.

Pike has racked up more than 2,000 winners in 16 seasons of riding. He has seven Group 1 winners and 51 at Group 2 and 3 level.

Pinheiro, 23, is currently licensed in Malaysia.

The Brazilian will be at his second Kranji visit. He finished second on Mr Clint in the Group 1 Singapore Derby in July.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Pinheiro rode his first winner at his first day of riding in November 2013.

He quickly climbed through the riding ranks on his way to two champion apprentice jockey titles in 2014 and 2015.

Well-travelled for his young age, Pinheiro has already recorded around 440 wins.

They include three in Uruguay, 15 during two stints in Dubai in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons, one in Bahrain and 25 in Malaysia.

Among his career highlights is the Triple Crown with filly Perfect Bullet in Brazil, including the Group 1 Grande Premio Taca de Cristal at Porte Alegro, two Group 2 wins and six Group 3 wins.

Besides three Listed races won across the Causeway, Pinheiro also claimed the Malaysian Group 1 Selangor Gold Cup over 1,600m on Truson on Aug 11. Truson is now trained at Kranji by Cliff Brown.

Born in Bunbury in Western Australia, 25-year-old Lane is the son of jockey Michael Lane.

After beginning his career in Perth, he moved to Victoria on loan to trainers Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra in 2011.

He struggled initially, but soon hit his straps and has been on an upward spiral since.

In 10 years, Lane has booted home more than 1,000 winners, including 15 at Group 1 level, mostly at his home base in Melbourne.

Overseas success is no stranger to Lane either. He rode in Hong Kong for three months in 2015. He recently made a big impact in Japan, winning three Group 1 races there.

Zahra, 37, is another who hails from Perth, but has now also established himself in Melbourne and is among the Top 10 in the last five years.

He finished fourth with 43 winners last season.

He has chalked up over 1,150 winners, including 13 at Group 1 level.

Zahra was licensed at Kranji in 2004 and 2005, booting home 12 wins and 11 wins respectively.

He rode mainly for John Meagher, who supplied him with his first Group 1 winner, Mayo's Music in the 2004 Raffles Cup.

Internationally, Zahra has been making his mark representing Australia in jockeys' series.

He won two races in a jockeys' challenge in Mauritius in 2016, helped Team Australia claim the Premier Gateway International Jockeys Challenge at Kranji last year. Last month, he won a race in the prestigious Shergar Cup in UK, landing the team title for the Rest of the World.

HORSE RACING