Last night’s Moonee Valley winner Pheidon put himself into Australian Derby contention after cruising to an easy victory in the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Alister Clark Stakes (2040m).
In-form jockey Damien Oliver combined with Gai Waterhouse to win another Melbourne feature race and the Al Maher three year old is now a possible contender to run in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 12.
The Oliver-Waterhouse combination is gaining momentum following the pair teaming up to win the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last Spring and the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington last week with English import Fiorente.
Oliver secured his fourth win in the Alister Clark Stakes after positioning Pheidon ($7) just behind the two leaders Surge Ahead and Honey Steel’s Gold then eased him across their heels coming to the home turn before surging away to score by a comfortable two lengths over the fast finishing Cadillac Mountain ($10) with Surge Ahead ($4 favourite) hanging on for third.
Waterhouse’s Melbourne representative Roger Elliot said that the race panned out well for Pheidon with Oliver riding another well-judged race.
“There was good speed and Damien had him in a good position and traveling well. The horses has done well since he’s been here and he’s done a good job tonight.” Elliott said.
“This race was the plan so it’s worked out very well for everyone.”
Oliver said that Pheidon really responded to having the blinkers back on and expects the three year old to keep on improving with more racing over further ground.
“He’s a little surprise packet this horse, he doesn’t do a great deal at home, he’s pretty casual on the track but blinkers here switched him on,” Oliver said.
“He won well, he had a cosy run and he was strong to the line so he might have more improvement as he gets over a bit further.”
Pheidon was only having his fifth race start and handled the step up to Group 2 level well after a last start third over 1900m in a midweek BenchMark 72 at Canterbury on February 21.
Waterhouse wrapped up a winning double for the night after combining with Chad Schofield to win the first race on the program, the Simpson Construction 0-78 Handicap (2040m), with Valediction.
Oliver and Waterhouse are teaming up again today at Randwick and have a great chance to add another Group 1 win to their record with Bull Point who is one of the top fancies in the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m).
Ladbrokes.com.au have Bull Point marked as a $8 chance along side of Eurozone in the Royal Randwick Guineas market order with New Zealand colt El Roca the $4 favourite ahead of fellow Kiwi Atlante at $7 and the Peter Moody trained Dissident at $9.
When you go to Ladbrokes.com.au to have a bet on the Royal Randwick Guineas, you can sign up for the Ladbrokes Card which will enable you to collect your winnings at any ATM and via EFTPOS.