Mick Cerchi and his best mate will chase their first metropolitan winner as a training partnership since joining forces at the start of the racing season.
The long-term Flemington-based trainer and son Luke teamed together in August and have trained seven winners from their small stable.
Four-time metropolitan winner Sadaqa runs for the co-trainers in the Ladbrokes Open Handicap (1440m) on Saturday leading to the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) on December 26.
Cerchi said his son had undergone a thorough apprenticeship to join him.
“He started off as an apprentice (jockey) but had a few issues with his health,” Cerchi said.
“He didn’t finish his apprenticeship and didn’t ride in races but has been with me the whole time learning the ropes and he’s at the right age now to start training.
“It’s no good starting to train too early as you’re dealing with people that are older than you.”
Cerchi said it’s a small family business with up to 10 horses in work.
The pair are hands on, requiring little outside help.
“We’re a two-man show, both are hands on and going full bore,” he said.
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“It’s a small stable, a family business, and we can’t run into too much trouble that way.
“He can’t sack me and I can’t sack him, but importantly we’re best mates.”
Sadaqa hasn’t raced since finishing fifth to Moher at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
He was scheduled to run in the washed out Kilmore Cup on November 26.
“He’s been freshened up mainly because there was really no race for him to run in,” Cerchi said.
“His main target is the Lord Stakes on Boxing Day at Caulfield.
“He needs to be running this weekend to fit him up for that race.”
Jordan Childs has the ride on Saturday with Dwayne Dunn sidelined through suspension.
“Dwayne Dunn usually gets first offer because he rides our horses in trials and does a lot of work for us when he can,” Cerchi said.
“Dwayne’s not back from suspension yet so Jordan will ride him as he was going to ride him at Kilmore.”