Group 1 winning jockey Tommy Berry will use the short Ascot straight to his advantage on Pheidon in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on Saturday.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Pheidon likes to race in or near the lead and was an all the way winner three starts back in the $100,000 City Jeep Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
And at his latest run with Craig Williams aboard the four year old lead the field into the straight before being nabbed on the line by Zabisco in the Group 3 $150,000 mypunter.com Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on November 15.
Berry was impressed with his run at Sandown and will use the shorter Ascot straight to his advantage.
“His run at Sandown where he got going before the corner on a very long straight was strong,” Berry told The West Australian.
“You would think the Ascot track where he can kick around the corner and give them something to chase would be ideal for him.”
While Berry has only ever ridden Pheidon once for a second to Arabian Gold in the Group 3 $150,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick during this year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival, he always thought he would develop into a handy racehorse.
“He has always felt like he had a lot of potential, but he has taken time to mature. He has ability, but what he also has is a big heart,” Berry said.
Pheidon is a winner at Group 2 level with Damien Oliver steering him to victory in the $220,000 Sportingbet Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley in March while his only attempt at Group 1 level resulted in a sixth, after setting the pace, to He’s Your Man in the $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick during the Sydney Spring Carnival.
If the four emergencies don’t gain a start, Pheidon will jump from gate nine in the sixteen horse field and Berry will have no trouble crossing the pack before the first turn.
Pheidon is currently marked as a $12 chance for the Kingston Town Classic with the Chris Waller trained Moriarty heading the market order at $4.
Group 1 Railway Stakes winner Elite Belle and stablemate Disposition share the second line of betting at $6.50 ahead of Railway Stakes runner up Balmont Girl at $8 and W.A Guineas winner Rommel at $9.