Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse has confirmed plans to send her promising galloper Pheidon west for the Perth Summer Racing Carnival after a close call in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown over the weekend.
On Saturday the Al Maher four-year-old looked the winner of the $150,000 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) in Melbourne before being run down in the final stride.
Going down a nose to Zabisco in the Zipping Classic Day showdown, Pheidon and jockey Craig Williams were brave in defeat.
Waterhouse was pleased with her horse’s efforts despite the loss, the Eclipse Stakes defeat following on from an equally close call at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
There Pheidon, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, was only a long neck away third behind Atacama in the Listed James Boag’s Premium Stakes (1800m).
That form, and the horse’s earlier win at Moonee Valley over 2040m on October 24, is what Waterhouse now hopes he will bring when he travels across the country chasing summer success in Western Australia.
While not nominated for any of the Festival of Perth Racing features, Waterhouse is confident she can find some nice support races for the horse to clean up in.
“He’ll go, there are some valuable races and he didn’t have a lot of luck today,” she said from Sandown on Saturday.
Waterhouse was hoping Tommy Berry would be available for the Perth rides however he copped a 10 meeting careless riding suspension at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Perth majors kick off at Ascot Racecourse this Saturday, November 22, with a double shot of Group 1 racing.
Heading the card are the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) featuring Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner and the $750,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) for the sprinters where Robbie Griffith’s mare Angelic Light will jump favourite.
Eastern state raider The Cleaner arrived in Perth on Friday along with fellow Railway Stakes hopeful Smokin’ Joey.
Wez Hunter’s seven-year-old has not won a race since his The Goodwood upset as a 40-1 shot back in May at Morphettville in Adelaide.
Also touching down at the Perth International Airport were the likes of John O’Shea’s Winterbottom Stakes-bound four-year-old Sidestep, the in-form Tony Gollan-trained Alma’s Fury who has the Railway in her sights and Disciple.
God’s Own six-year-old Disciple is in the care of Ascot-based Sean Casey now having been transferred from the Sydney stables of Chris Waller.