racinghistory_Heading.gif (2596 bytes)





James Edward Pike was born on 19 February 1892 in Newcastle, NSW. He was a tall skinny man. His career as a jockey started in 1907 when he rode Welcome Jack to third place at the Caulfield Cup at just 15 years of age. Trainer Bill Kelso was impressed by Pike's performance and offered him to go to England in 1908. There he rode 17 races with 2 wins and 5 placings. After a few months they returned to Australia.
James Pike won his first major race in October 1910 aged 18 when he worked as an apprentice for Bill Kelso at Randwick. In the Victoria Derby he rode Beverage to victory.
At the hight of his career James Pike was frequently referred to as "The Master", because he demonstrated again and again how the riding should be done. He was a cool-headed jockey, a master rider who showed style, perfect balance and hands in the saddle. Without the use of a whip he would get the best ride possible out of a horse. Being one of Australia's finest jockeys he was offered to race more top horses than anyone else. Because of his weight, Pike was only able to ride the more heavily weighted horses in handicaps for the last and most successful 15 years of his career.
James Pike became a very wealthy man, but unfortunately he had a strong tendency for gambling, which left him broke only six months after his retirement in April 1936. Pike often bet large amounts of money on his horse or on his rival. It is a credit to him that he would always try to ride his horse to victory even if it meant losing his money. For 20 years he was a top jockey because the owners knew that they could trust him completely. It is thought that he was offered large sums of money to stop Phar Lap from winning some of his major races. His honesty certainly contributed to Phar Lap's outstanding success.
James Pike died in 1969, impoverished but honest, he was held in high public esteem. He was inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions at Homebush Bay on 25 August 1999 and into The Australian Racing Hall of Fame in Melbourne on 30 June 2002.


Some feature races won:

1910 Victoria Derby Beverage
1913 Victoria Derby Beragoon
1928 Victoria Derby Strephon
1928 CB Fisher Plate Gothic
1929 Victoria Derby Phar Lap
1929 AJC Derby Phar Lap
1930 Victoria Derby Ballon King
1930 Melbourne Cup Phar Lap
1931 Victoria Derby Johnnie Jason
1932 AJC Derby Peter Pan

Some of the horses James Pike rode:

-  Phar Lap, James Pike considered Phar Lap as the greatest of all horses. Out of 30 rides on Phar Lap he won 27
-  Peter Pan
-  Amounis
-  Heroic
-  Chatham
-  Fuji San
-  Gothic
-  Winooka
-  Greenline
-  Trafalgar
-  The Hawk
-  Strephon
-  Woorak
-  Whittier
-  Red Gauntlet
-  Pendil
-  Beragoon
-  Beverage