Aurie’s Star Handicap 2016: Pheidon lines-up for new stable

Jim Cerchi jnr is not afraid to hitch up the float and travel to get a winner.

The 38-year-old horseman who trains out of Karasi Park at Coronet Bay on Victoria’s Westernport Bay, is prepared to go to Naracoorte in country South Australia or the Sapphire Coast in NSW chasing victory.

On Saturday the trip will be less taxing, around 90 minutes, where he has Pheidon running in the Group Three Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington.

Cerchi, who made the move from Tocumwal in country NSW to Coronet Bay last December to be closer to the city action on the advice of owners, bought Pheidon from the Gai Waterhouse stable earlier this year.

He said Pheidon’s good Melbourne form was instrumental in buying the six-year-old.

“We bought him on the basis of him having four starts in Melbourne, two at Moonee Valley for two wins, a third at Flemington on Cup day and a second in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown,” Cerchi said.

“Three of the races were at stakes level and he won a Group Two at Moonee Valley.”

Pheidon was given a three-month spell before Cerchi began the gradual build-up to have him ready to compete on Saturday with plenty of walking in the sea water and beach gallops.

“He was probably ready to have a trial a month ago,” Cerchi said.

“But I didn’t want to trial him on the synthetic so he trialled at Cranbourne on Monday and the track was bottomless.

“He pulled up so good that we decided to nominate and see how he was this week.

“He’s done that well so we’ll have a run.”

Cerchi says he will learn more about Pheidon from his first-up run and plans to take the gelding to a 1500m handicap at Moonee Valley on August 20.

While Pheidon is nominated for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, more realistic targets include the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley with the Cranbourne Cup his main aim.

“The Caulfield Cup, we put him in because it’s a dream,” Cerchi said.

“The Cox Plate, he’s had two starts at Moonee Valley over 2040 (metres) and won both times and beaten some classy horses.

“If he was to get that form again he might be a chance but his main aim is the Cranbourne Cup.”


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