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Sydney-based hoop Joshua Parr is planning on keeping a cool head despite jumping in the saddle of his first ever Group 1 favourite this weekend in Brisbane’s Tattersall’s Tiara 2017.
All eyes will be on Parr at Doomben Racecourse for Race 7 on Saturday afternoon when the 2016/17 Australian Racing Season enjoys a final elite level race – the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m).
Clear favourite in the Tattersall’s Tiara odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Benjamin Smith-trained Newcastle based mare In Her Time ($3.30).
She earned her spot at the top of Tattersall’s Tiara betting this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival after the brave second to Impending at the same track and distance a fortnight back in the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) after a wide run throughout.
The Time Thief four-year-old’s regular rider Parr, 30, had to forfeit the Stradbroke ride to lightweight hoop Dean Yendall, unable to get down to the 53.5kg.
He reunites with the class mare on Saturday however with In Her Time back up to 57kg under the weight-for-age conditions of the Tiara.
Saturday is a chance for Parr to post a third Group 1 winning ride having previously saluted in the 2010 Champagne Stakes on Skilled and the 2014 Spring Champion Stakes aboard Hampton Court.
Both of those horses jumped at double-figures however giving Parr a new challenge this weekend to get the job done for the Group 1 punters.
“It is a very special feeling every time I get to ride in a Group I as I don’t get too many [Group 1] opportunities,” Parr told Racenet this week.
“It’s probably even more special this time as I’m riding the favourite and I have had a long association with Ben Smith who was a foreman for Peter Snowden when I was an apprentice at Crown Lodge.
“I’ve never ridden a favourite in a Group I before but I’m determined to approach it in the same way as any other race as I want to be thinking clearly.”
Parr will need to be at his best as will the mare who has drawn out wide in barrier 16, which will become 13 at best if the emergencies fail to gain a start.
The Stradbroke Handicap has produced eight Tattersall’s Tiara winners since the latter’s inauguration as the Winter Stakes in 1996.
Prior to Srikandi completing the double with the Tiara run at the Gold Coast in 2015, the other most recent winner to back-up out of the Stradbroke was the Gerald Ryan-trained filly Melito (2nd in 2010).
That’s the same form In Her Time brings into the Tatt’s Tiara this weekend as she looks to be the third four-year-old in as many years to win.
Parr put In Her Time through her paces in a Tuesday morning gallop at the Doomben track and was impressed with the mare’s work ahead of Saturday’s feature race.
“She trialled really well that day and I thought she had the makings of a really good horse, I thought she might have been up to Group 2 level,” Parr said.
“I was right because she won the Group 2 Millie Fox [Stakes at Rosehill on February 18].
“But it was probably only after I rode her at trackwork before the Doomben 10,000 that I really thought she could be a Group I mare.
“That was a brilliant piece of work and as good as you could possibly ask for.”
Prior to the Mille Fox success, In Her Time also won Randwick’s Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) a fortnight earlier with apprentice Andrew Adkins aboard.
She is third-up this weekend with her Stradbroke second following a credible fifth behind Redzel when three lengths beaten at Doomben on May 13 in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) as a $17 shot.
To back In Her Time to win the Tattersall’s Tiara, becoming the fifth favourite in the past decade to do so, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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