Even money favourite Disposition suffered his first defeat in the WA Guineas 2014 at Ascot Racecourse on Railway Stakes Day with outside hope Rommel scoring an upset in the three-year-olds’ classic ahead of a possible Kingston Town Classic bid in a fortnight.
Last time out the Grant Williams-trained Reset gelding Disposition posted his fourth career win from as many starts, and his second black type success, when defeating 50-1 roughie Rommel in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m).
In the re-match on ‘Super Saturday’, Neville Parnham’s Commands colt Rommel was able to turn the tables and beat home Rommel by half a length in the lucrative $400,000 Group 2 Sky Racing W.A. Guineas (1600m).
Finishing off the WA Guineas trifecta in third this year was then Say Geronimo, but all the post-race talk was on the winner and his possible return to Ascot on December 6 for the $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Four years ago Parnham travelled the exact same path with Playing God who rose from relative obscurity to run second in the 2010 Fairetha Stakes before a win in the WA Guineas, the Aquanita Stakes one run later and then the Kingston Town Classic in elite level company.
Parnham is hoping Rommel can repeat the feat in 2014 after his impressive mile win in the Guineas.
Jockey Steven Parnham, who has an ace recent record in the Guineas including a win 12 months ago aboard Ihtsahymn, was full of post-race praise for the winner who he sounds keen to stick with in the Kingston Town Classic should the horse back-up.
“Very good win,” he said.
“His last run he came back to form and he’s shown us he’s turned the corner.
“We always believed he had the ability it was just getting him there.
“Today he won like a dominant horse.
“He put them away at the corner and was strong to the line.”
A blistering pace was set in the WA Guineas by Darren Mcauliffe’s front-running filly Furious Dame who made it a genuinely run race, leading right until she faded on the straight.
Disposition was first to break away from the barriers but Furious Dame quickly burned him off, the subsequent winner Rommel also away well.
At the 1400m Disposition was sitting one off the fence with Delicacy now in second and Rommel third behind the speedy filly who had the field stretched right out with 15 lengths separating first to last by the time there was 1000m left to travel.
Furious Dame held a massive lead throughout and was still sitting handy in front with 400m to go before Disposition started his run winding up from 250m out.
It was Rommel though who hit the front and held his lead to win the Guineas in an upset result at big odds.
Rommel had the job of working hard after the tear away winner set such a frantic pace, and he showed another level of improvement with his past two runs by far the best of his career so far.
“They went out hard and fast,” Parnham said.
“The barrier played a big part. He was able to log into a good spot.
“He led down really strong.
“Full credit to the horse.”
Disposition was taken out of his comfort zone by the speed as the horses at the back of the field couldn’t get into the race.
“She (Furious Dame) just took us off the bit a long way from home and took him into waters he hasn’t been in before,” beaten jockey William Pike said of Disposition’s effort post-loss.
“Hats off to the winner.
“I was happy to even run second from where I was. He wasn’t giving me that electric feel.
“The winner was too good for me today.”
Both trainer and jockey Neville and Steven Parnham are now confident Rommel has what it takes to run a strong race in the Kingston Town Classic where he would get in on the three-year-olds’ weight in the weight-for-age showdown.
“That probably nearly brings him into contention to go to the Kingston Town now and I don’t think the 1800m will be beyond him,” his jockey said.
“I always thought the 1600m would be cherry ripe for him but he could go a touch further.”
Twelve months ago Rommel won on debut on Railway Stakes Day and then his trainer declared him his Guineas horse, a prediction that reigned true.
“Pretty proud of the horse,” he said.
“The horse is a good horse and hopefully we can start him in the Kingston Town from here.”
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2014 WA Guineas Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Race 6 – 22/11/2014
|1||3||ROMMEL||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||–||4||56.5kg||$21|
|2||1||DISPOSITION||Grant Williams||William Pike||0.5L||2||56.5kg||$2.10F|
|3||8||SAY GERONIMO (NZ)||Wally Mitchell||Patrick Carbery||1.75L||8||56.5kg||$21|
|4||5||OUTLAW PETE||Trevor Andrews||Paul Harvey||2.75L||6||56.5kg||$4.60|
|5||10||DELICACY||Grant Williams||Peter Hall||3L||10||54.5kg||$11|
|6||4||TONTO||Lou Luciani||Jason Whiting||4.75L||1||56.5kg||$8|
|7||12||DANCING EXPRESS||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||6.75L||12||54.5kg||$26|
|8||11||TOP SHOW||Neville Parnham||Chris Parnham (a)||6.75L||5||54.5kg||$26|
|9||7||TOPPA DAWOZZA||Gary Crispin||Damien Oliver||6.75L||11||56.5kg||$61|
|10||6||SETTLERS CREEK||Colin Webster||Troy Turner||8.25L||14||56.5kg||$101|
|11||13||IDEAL IMAGE||Grant Williams||Shaun O’Donnell||8.5L||9||54.5kg||$14|
|12||14||KEYSBROOK||Phil Humann||Peter Knuckey||8.75L||13||54.5kg||$61|
|13||15||FURIOUS DAME||Darren Mcauliffe||Ben Kennedy||9L||3||54.5kg||$16|
|14||9||CADENZA||Daniel Morton||Dom Tourneur||9.25L||7||54.5kg||$26|
|–||2||CUANZO||Eric Wake||Jarrad Noske||–||3||–||–|