Perth trainer Neville Parnham is gearing up for a big 2015 Australian Guineas assault next weekend with his top chance Disposition to be joined in the field by today’s Zeditave Stakes winner Rommel.
Disposition raced into contention for the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 when the WA Guineas runner-up finished second to Wandjina in his maiden Melbourne run last Saturday, the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).
Today at Caulfield Racecourse Parnham was back in the winner’s stall with another smart three-year-old Perth raider, Commands colt Rommel.
Rommel beat home stablemate Disposition in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) last November before finishing seventh to Chris Waller’s Sydney visitor Moriarty in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at the end of his prep, a race Disposition ran second in.
He returned at home a fortnight ago running third in the Perth Magic Millions 3YO Stakes with the query then how he would handle the same 1200m distance in today’s Melbourne opener, the $150,000 Zeditave Stakes (1200m).
Parnham need not have worried about the distance with Rommel’s class getting him through with the trainer’s son Chris Parnham guiding the $9.50 shot to a narrow victory over the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Galaxy Pegasus ($6) who nearly led all the way.
In third making up late ground was then the Dean Howard-trained Convincible ($20) ridden by Mark Zahra from the back, the hoop with the prized mount in the Blue Diamond Stakes later on the program with race favourite Fontition.
“He’s a lovely horse,” winning hoop Parnham said post-win.
“He only came to Melbourne a couple of days ago.
“Only the good ones can do it (come from Perth to Melbourne and win).”
War Pass colt Galaxy Pegasus racing first-up here was quick out of the gates and took up the running leading until the final stride with the race favourite Armada off the bit chasing and eventual winner Rommel setting third, then fourth.
After going round the home turn Galaxy Pegasus still held the lead with Armada batting to get to him.
Rommel though stormed home late arriving to grab the frontrunner right on the line putting in a perfect clean-up run for next Saturday having overcome a flat spot during the run, responding when Parham asked for more.
“I really had to stoke him up,” Parham said.
“It’s just a massive thrill to get a winner for dad over here.”
Parnham’s father was aware the class of the Zeditave Stakes wasn’t quite up to what Rommel will be facing in next weekend’s Australian Guineas but was still chuffed with the win over the unsuitably short distance, improvement to come getting up to a mile.
“It’s quite a thrill to bring the horse over,” he said.
“This isn’t his main target and we’re well aware these aren’t quite the Australian Guineas class of horse.
“He’ll be much better suited next week over the 1600 (metres).
“Looking forward to the challenge next week.”
Parnahm also described Disposition as a “live chance” going into the Australian Guineas.
“He’s a quality horse,” he said.
“He’s freshened-up well. Very pleased.”
There are three Group 1 races coming up at Caulfield Racecourse this afternoon so make sure you stay tuned to Races.com.au and check out all the odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Blue Diamond Stakes (Race 8).
2015 Zeditave Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 1 – 28/02/2015
|1||1||ROMMEL||Neville Parnham||Chris Parnham (a)||–||4||57.5kg||$8.50|
|2||3||GALAXY PEGASUS||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||0.1L||7||57.5kg||$6|
|3||4||CONVINCIBLE||Dean Howard||Mark Zahra||0.85L||5||56kg||$20|
|4||2||FAST CASH||Wendy Kelly||Vlad Duric||1.05L||8||57.5kg||$5|
|5||6||ULMANN||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1.15L||9||55kg||$16|
|6||5||ARMADA||Peter G Moody||Damien Oliver||1.35L||6||55kg||$3.70F|
|7||7||ONEROUS||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.35L||2||55kg||$6.50|
|8||8||SCHNELLER||Clinton McDonald||Thomas Sadler (a)||2.65L||1||55kg||$26|
|9||9||SETINUM||Shane Fliedner||Chad Schofield||8.15L||3||55kg||$15|