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A race fall on Wednesday threatened the chances of young hoop Chris Parnham riding the Victorian raider Extra Zero in the 2015 CB Cox Stakes, but he is on the mend and confident he’ll be in the saddle on Saturday.
The veteran nine-year-old David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Extra Zero hasn’t won a race since New Year’s Day at Flemington nearly 12 months ago and is out to break the drought in Perth in this weekend’s $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m).
A field of 11 face off in the latest Perth Summer Racing Carnival showdown at Ascot Racecourse with the Lindsay Park-prepared Danzero gelding jumping from a wide gate 10 draw.
His best recent run was a close second to Spillway when a short-head off the winner in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) back in mid-March and the CB Cox Stakes is his second WA run.
He debuted at the track a fortnight back on December 5 in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) when crossing a well-beaten seventh to Perfect Reflection on a wet track.
Victorian hoop Mark Zahra rode him in that luckless run on unsuitable ground but local boy Parnham is down to take over this weekend.
Parnham however fell from Classy Twister in a mid-week meet at the track, lucky to escape the fall without any fractures.
He left Royal Perth Hospital on Wednesday evening and while is awaiting official medical clearance, is confident of being fit for the CB Cox Stakes assignment.
“I have some muscle soreness, but nothing too serious,” Parnham told The West Australian.
“I feel confident I will be able to ride on Saturday, but I do need to get the clearance tomorrow.”
Parnahm got an early feel of Extra Zero, a $15 in CB Cox Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au in markets led by Grant Williams’ dual Group 1 winning mare Delicacy ($1.50), with a pre-fall track gallop on Tuesday morning that boosted his confidence in scoring an upset.
“He did long work and came up sharp over the last 400m,” he said.
“He seems to be going along well and he is at his best distance over the 2100m.”
Extra Zero is yet to run over the exact distance but does have winning form up to 2000m and has thrice been tested over 2400m including as a three-year-old when fifth to Shoot Out in the 2010 Australian Derby.
He has a tough assignment in defeating the Perth Cup-bound Delicacy however whose firming odds-on price has her starting the shortest CB Cox Stakes winner in 20 years.
The other two favourites to jump that short in recent years were Ranger ($1.80 in 2011) and Scenic Shot ($1.90 in 2009) who ran third and sixth respectively.
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