Steven Parnham will take over from his younger brother Chris aboard their father’s horse, the Neville Parnham-trained Rommel in the 2015 Australian Guineas in Melbourne this weekend.
Perth raider Rommel travelled to Victoria for his first interstate run last week, the three-year-old Commands colt making an immediate impact for the autumn with a narrow win over Galaxy Pegasus in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) where he hit the line strongly.
That took Rommel’s record up to four wins from 12 starts for over $483,000 in prize money, his other most recent victory being in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) back home at Ascot last November.
In WA the up-and-comer is the regular mount of the older Parnham brother, but it was apprentice Chris in Melbourne for a stint who rode the galloper in the Zeditave with Steven fulfilling a full book of rides back home at Ascot on the day.
He moves aside however for Steven to take the mount this Saturday, Rommel on the short seven day turnaround going into the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Of the 29 current Australian Guineas nominations, race favourite in the all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au at a clear $3.80 is the Chris Waller-trained Kermadec.
Teofilo colt Kermadec runs in Melbourne for the first time since his Victorian debut on Derby Day at Flemington on November 1 last year when winning the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m).
He comes off a second-up third to Hallowed Crown in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill from February 21 and is also nominated for the $600,000 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in Sydney on Saturday.
Rommel meanwhile can be a little found further down the latest Australian Guineas odds occupying the fifth line of betting at a current quote of $11.
That’s an equal price with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win whose preferred option on Saturday staying at home for the 2015 Randwick Guineas.
Parnham didn’t originally intend to run Rommel in the Zeditavie Stakes, but it was a nice piece of silverware to pick up on way to the galloper’s major assignment.
“It wasn’t on our itinerary to go into the Zeditave, but we’re pretty pleased with the result,” the trainer told The West Australian on Monday.
Parnham confirmed all was well with the horse who came through his Melbourne debut in good order.
“He came through the run unscathed and it was only his second run,” he said.
“I took him for a swim this morning and he was really well in himself.”
Rommel has had one previous Group 1 run when finishing a brave seventh, beaten under three lengths, to the Waller-trained Sydney visitor Moriarty in last year’s Kingston Town Classic over 1800m.
The form of the WA three-year-olds coming over this autumn is holding with Rommel’s Zeditave win following the close second of the now Wez Hunter-trained Perth expat Disposition to Wandjina in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
Disposition is also set to run in the Australian Guineas this weekend, the Reset gelding having run second to Rommel in the WA Guineas last spring.
He finished better than Parnham’s champ however in the Kingston Town Classic when second in his final Perth run before his transfer to Hunter’s Mornington stables.
Disposition trails only the aforementioned Kermadec and last Saturday’s Group 2 Autumn Classic winner Alpine Eagle ($6), who has Hong Kong hoop Douglas Whyte on standby for the ride, in Australian Guineas betting.
To check out the full markets and back your favourites before prices firm with the release of the Australian Guineas 2015 final field on Wednesday, head to Ladbrokes.com.au where new depositing players are eligible for a $250 free bet bonus this season!