Cepheus gets it Dunn again in Alan Brown Stakes

Matt Dunn has the Big Dance as the spring goal for Cepheus, but the comeback galloper continues to collect feature race wins along the way, adding the $1.5 million Alan Brown Stakes at Rosehill to his last start Shannon Stakes win.

Courtesy of another great ride from Nash Rawiller, Cepheus ($7) pulled out all stops to fend off the fast-finishing Cotehele ($8.50) by a half-head with Flying Crazy ($31) zooming home late to grab third, another three-quarters of a length in arrears.

But all honours were with Cepheus, who overcome a career-threatening tendon injury a couple of seasons ago to get back to the races and his best.

“He’s had his problems along the way, we patched him up and got him to where he is and it’s just so good,” Dunn said.

“He’s a beauty. He tries his little heart out and he does his best every time he goes to the races.

“We’re looking forward to it (Big Dance) and that has been his goal right through.

“The fact he’s been able to pick these couple of races up along the way for huge amounts of prizemoney, it’s fantastic for me and the owners.”

Cepheus has been thriving on racing and with that in mind, Dunn plans to give him one more run in the Filante Handicap (1600m) at Randwick in two weeks before the $3 million Big Dance (1600m) at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day.

“He needs racing and I don’t really want to go four weeks in between with him,” Dunn said.

“That will top him off nicely and he can just go three weeks and two days into the Big Dance and God give him strength.”

Jockey Tom Sherry was disappointed not to get the result on Cotehele but said the runner-up was gallant in defeat.

He hopes the two of them can exact revenge in the Big Dance, which is also on Cotehele’s agenda.

“Tough pill to swallow,” Sherry said.

“He raced brilliantly and hopefully we beat them in the Big Dance.”

Cepheus gave Rawiller the middle leg of a feature race treble, sandwiched in between his Group 2 Hill Stakes (1900m) victory aboard Montefilia and his Nivison (1200m) win on Victorian filly Magic Time.

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