Midterm chasing Zipping Classic success

Craig Brennan
Midterm backs up from the Queen Elizabeth Stakes to try to win the Zipping Classic

It took trainers Mick Cerchi and his son Luke a number of starts to work out stable recruit Midterm before they struck gold in the Kyneton Cup.

At Sandown on Saturday the pair is hoping to add the Group Two Zipping Classic (2400m) to Midterm's resume.

Formerly known as the Sandown Classic, the race was renamed after the Lloyd Williams-owned Zipping who won the race four consecutive times from 2007.

Midterm is a former member of the Williams ownership team and on Saturday is having his seventh start for his new connections.

Cerchi has had previous success with ex-Williams horses, taking Tanby, winner of the 2012 Zipping Classic, to victory in the 2015 Adelaide Cup.

It took Midterm until start five to win for Cerchi who gained valuable intelligence from three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy along the way.

McEvoy rode him three times and after his first two said the horse was feeling well, but needed more racing.

After he rode him at Moonee Valley before the Kyneton Cup, McEvoy said the gelding's fitness levels were almost spot-on.

After winning at Kyneton for Patrick Moloney, Midterm backed up three days later to finish sixth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington won by Irish mare True Self.

"I had to find out what he did and didn't like so it was just a case of going slowly early," Mick Cerchi said.

"And then we got a bit behind putting pressure on him early in the spring carnival.

"We raced him into fitness and when we found out his fitness level was really good, the rain came at Kyneton which helped."

While the track is in the good range on Saturday, Cerchi is hoping for some rain to give the track some added give.

"If the ground comes up too firm for him and he doesn't go as well as we expect he can probably have a little break and come back possibly for Sydney in the autumn, because they can get a bit of rain up there," he said.