Victorian-based Perth hoop Chris Parnham will have his debut ride in Queensland this Saturday aboard upset hope My Poppette in Eagle Farm’s 2016 Tattersall’s Tiara.
The last of the season’s Group 1 races, the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) features a final field of 16 fillies and mares.
Just two three-year-olds take on the older mares in the weight-for-age clash including Parnham’s mount, the Robert Smerdon-trained My Poppette.
The young daughter of Snippetson has won three of her 11 starts to date, but her last success was on Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley last October in the Group 2 MV Fillies Classic (1600m).
This time in she’s had three autumn – winter runs, including her first Brisbane run on June 11 in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m).
A traditional lead-up into the Tattersall’s Tiara the Dane Ripper Stakes was won by Cradle Me, who is at $8 to complete the double on Saturday through Ladbrokes.com.au, with My Poppette finishing four and a half lengths back for 11th.
She had a tough run from barrier 13 of 13 in the Stradbroke Handicap Day Group 2 with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
Dunn is serving a suspension and with the filly’s other regular rider Mark Zahra on holidays, Parnham was thrilled to pick up the Group 1 ride on My Poppette even though she drew the outside barrier again (16 of 16).
“A few of the guys that normally would ride her are away so I was lucky enough to pick up the ride,” Parnham, 19, told AAP.
Three of the past four Tattersall’s Tiara winners jumped from barrier 14 or wider, including the Chris Waller-trained Red Tracer (2013) who overcame barrier 16 (of 16) for her success three years ago.
The fillies also have an outstanding recent record in the race with five wins in the past eight years.
The other three-year-old looking to add to that with an upset Tattersall’s Tiara result on Saturday is the Liam Birchley-trained Blueberry Hill (8) coming off a win in last weekend’s Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich.
Parnham has ridden My Poppette once before at just her second start in April last year for a second over 1200ma t Flemington when she was prepared by previous trainers Colin and Cindy Alderson.
She might be at a roughie’s price of $21 in the current Tattersall’s Tiara odds led by Azkadellia ($2.35), but Parnham remains confident that if she brings her best form My Poppette could finish in the money.
“I’ve never ridden in Queensland before. I’ve ridden the other way of going a few times, but not many, so it’s going to be a bit different but I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“I expect her to run well. Obviously she’s going to be an outside chance but if she brings her `A-game’ I think she can be right there.”
Parnham is also aiming for his first Group 1 winning ride after his close second on Smokin’ Joey in the Futurity Stakes in Melbourne last year, his closest elite level finish so far.
“Hopefully I can go one better,” he said.
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