Lightly-raced gelding Pheidon broke through for his maiden win at Group level with an impressive performance in the 2014 Alister Clarke Stakes at Moonee Valley last night.
Pheidon was settled just behind the leaders by jockey Damien Oliver and worked into the race strongly with 300 metres left to run before running away from the rest of the field in the final stages of the race to score a two length win from Cadillac Mountain and Surge Ahead.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has included Pheidon in the nominations for the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) that will be run at Royal Randwick on April 12, but Oliver admitted after the race that he is not sure the son of Al Maher is ready to face what is set to be a strong field in the $2 million event.
“It wasn’t the strongest field today, so I guess it just depends on what’s up in Sydney,” Oliver said.
“He certainly surprised me with his authority today.
“He’s pretty casual on the track but with blinkers on under raceday atmosphere tonight he really switched on and won well.
“I’m sure he can continue on and I guess you’d have to stick your toe into the water to find out.
“It’s a pleasure to ride for Gai because her horses put themselves up there out of trouble and they give you a good kick when you ask them.”
Oliver and Waterhouse will have the opportunity to add to their growing list of feature race wins when they combine with Bull Point in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
The leading Melbourne jockey has a strong book of rides and is set to partner Mr Bogart in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m), Miss Interiors in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m), Pretty Pins in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality, Speediness in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Mon Gateau in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m).
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2014 Alister Clarke Stakes Results
|1||5||PHEIDON||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||–||9||57kg||$7|
|2||10||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||2L||2||57kg||$10|
|3||3||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||Chris Symons||2.1L||10||57kg||$4F|
|4||12||BARDEM (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3.1L||3||57kg||$19|
|5||14||SCRATCHY BOTTOM||Michael Kent||Michael Rodd||3.3L||6||55kg||$4.20|
|6||1||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||5.05L||11||57kg||$9|
|7||2||HONEY STEEL’S GOLD||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||5.25L||13||57kg||$16|
|8||7||BRING SOMETHING||Ken Keys||Michael Walker||5.75L||5||57kg||$9.50|
|9||13||CALENDAR LAD||Greg Eurell||Brad Rawiller||5.85L||12||57kg||$61|
|10||9||MYSONHARRY||Michael Kent||Damian Lane||6.15L||4||57kg||$31|
|11||8||MISTA SPOT||Anthony Freedman||Steven Arnold||7.65L||7||57kg||$31|
|12||11||SLEW LEFT||Michael Templeton||Brian Higgins||15.65L||8||57kg||$101|
|13||6||ALL RIGGED UP||Michael Templeton||Darren Gauci||27.65L||1||57kg||$101|