Henshaw's cup win continues Cerchi tradition

HENSHAW repaid his connections for their confidence when he scored a short-neck victory over Watto’s Racer in the $20,000 Camperdown Cup (1600m) at Camperdown on Saturday.

The Mick Cerchi-trained stallion was formerly in the care of Peter Snowden under the Darley umbrella before Australian campdraft rider Mark Ruff and Kangaroos footballer Nathan Grima bought the horse in July last year.

Cerchi revealed Ruff and Grima paid $60,000 for Henshaw at the July Inglis thoroughbred sale.

“Henshaw was not a cheap horse,” he said. “I’m glad he won. He’s picked up $12,000 in stakemoney today. It all helps at the end of the day. I think he’s won more than $40,000 for us. 

“I thought he would be hard to beat. He came in well on the minimum weight following his last two runs in Melbourne. He’s run some good races for us,” Cerchi said. 

“Henshaw didn’t measure up to what Snowden and Darley wanted. He had reached his limit with them. They put up six horses for sale and I had watched Henshaw when he was being trained by Snowden at Flemington. 

“I knew he was a handy type of horse.”

Cerchi, son of the late trainer Jim Cerchi, said Henshaw was a dual-purpose buy.

“He’ll keep on racing while he’s running well but his long-term career is as a stock horse stallion,” he said. “He’s the ideal stallion horse for stock horses. He’s not very big which is good for a stock horse. His other attributes are his temperament and his body shape,” Cerchi said. 

“He’s no slouch as a racehorse. He’s now won five races — two of those have been for us. I think there are still a few more wins in him before he starts stud duties.”

Depending on how Henshaw pulls up after his Camperdown Cup win, Cerchi said the four-year-old would have his next run in either the Woodend, Hanging Rock or Stoney Creek cups.

“He normally pulls up all right after his races. We’ve got a few options over the next few weeks,” he said. 

Cerchi  acknowledged the ride of jockey Jason Lyon to win the cup. “He followed the instructions to the letter,” he said.

The 59-year-old trainer said it was special to win the cup.

“Billy my brother has won the Camperdown Cup on two occasions and I reckon old Jim (dad) won it three times,” he said. 

“It’s great to keep the tradition up in winning the Camperdown Cup for the family.”

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