A step up in distance and a light weight has helped Scherzoso return to the winner’s circle with apprentice Ben Allen at Caulfield.
The jockey reunited with Scherzoso in Saturday’s Rockmount Pretraining Handicap (2000m) after riding the Tony McEvoy-trained gelding in his first two starts this campaign, which included a fast-finishing win at Flemington in May.
Scherzoso then ventured to Sydney for this third start this preparation and was third over 1800m before returning to Melbourne where he had top jockey Dwayne Dunn aboard in his recent fourth placing at Caulfield.
Allen only recently returned from a six-week layoff due to a shoulder injury and was able to get back on Scherzoso, where his 3kg claim came in handy.
As in his Flemington win first up, Scherzoso carried 51kg on Saturday courtesy of Allen’s claim.
After settling back in the field, Scherzoso ($5) started to roll into the race wider out when the pace slowed nearing the 800m, and he hit the line on the outside to win by a short neck over Golden Mane.
Favourite Longeron held on for third another three-quarters of a length away.
“He was looking for that kind of trip today and 51 kilos was a great luxury,” said McEvoy’s stable representative, Michael Shepherdson.
“He also had a tongue-tie on for the first time which Dwayne Dunn suggested after last start and that really helped us today, too, I think.
“More importantly, he drew out a bit today. He’s been drawing inside barriers and getting struck on the rail and not been able to flow into the race when he likes to.”
Shepherdson is unsure of the immediate plans for Scherzoso but believes the four-year-old could develop into a country cups contender next season.