Perth horseman Neville Parnham boasts a host of top honours in his home state of WA’s best races but on Saturday will be shooting for a maiden win in the 2014 Railway Stakes with Bass Strait lining up in the Ascot classic.
The locally-based trainer has come close to winning Perth’s richest race on a number of occasions including 12 months ago when the Hall of Famer saddled-up Playing God and God Has Spoken to run fifth and sixth respectively behind dual winner Luckygray who also won in 2011.
Playing God and God Has Spoken also contested the Railway Stakes in 2012 finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
This weekend Parnahm has just one hope in the $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) after his Holy Roman Emperor gelding Bass Strait snuck into the race on the back of a Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) win at the track last weekend.
Following a first-up fifth behind Balmont Girl in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on November 1, the five-year-old improved in the Peters Stakes and was able to beat home fellow Railway Stakes hopeful Respondent by half a length.
That was just his second start for Parnham who purchased the ex-Victorian racehorse off David Hayes earlier this season.
The horse has been up over a mile seven times before for one win and a third, and Parnham hopes he can perform well again here as he rises in class for the elite level summer showdown.
The latest Railway Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by The Cleaner who has eased out from $4 to $4.40.
Bass Strait, drawn nicely in barrier three with Parnham’s son Chris to ride on the 53kg minimum, meanwhile is at $15 to score an upset Railway Stakes result.
Apprentice hoop Chris Parnham has ridden the galloper for both his Perth starts and his father was full of praise for his winning RJ Peters Stakes ride last Saturday.
“You couldn’t get a better ride,” the trainer said after the win.
“He’s only 17 years of age, he rides beyond his years and experience as a jockey.
“He put him in the one-one spot, peeled off and never panicked. When he let him down, the horse responded for him.”
Parnham also saddles up three hopefuls in the $400,000 Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) on Saturday.
His chances in the three-year-olds’ showdown are Rommel ($21), Dancing Express ($26) and Top Show ($34) who Chris also rides.
Of the trio the best lead-up form belongs to Commands colt Rommel who ran second behind Saturday’s firm $2.40 WA Guineas favourite Disposition last start in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) on November 8.
To get behind Parnham’s Railway Stakes Day contingent at the guaranteed best odds make sure you’ve got an account open online at Ladbrokes.com.au!