Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
Trainer Neville Parnham has his sights set on further Group 1 glory this weekend when seven-year old gelding Malibu Style saddles up in the $1 million Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
Hard work paid off last week for Parnham when the son of Magnus won the $120,000 listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown, a reward for what has otherwise been a fairly consistent year for the veteran sprinter.
Having won three of nine starts, Malibu Style hasn’t ventured outside of Melbourne this year. A win on Saturday would add a Group 1 win to the resume, and with plenty of experience in the Perth Summer Carnival – as well as small gear change – a victory at Ascot certainly isn’t out of the question.
“Special shoeing and management have seen marked improvement in his hooves,” Parnham told The West Australian on Thursday.
“He’s working strongly and is not hampered at all.”
Like several other runners in this year’s field, the Winterbottom eluded Malibu Style last year.
With Parnham’s son Steven on board, the pair finished dead last in the field of 12 after drawing wide.
This year lady luck has favoured the stable, drawing barrier six on Wednesday. Unlike last year, Parnham also seems to have learned his lesson by keeping Malibu Style lightly raced.
“He had come through a lengthy Melbourne campaign before he started in the race last year,” Parnham said.
“This time, he’s had only three races and is still on the way up.”
Despite the handy draw and last week’s win at Sandown, Malibu Style is one of the biggest drifters in this year’s Winterbottom market.
Originally opening at $13.00, Malibu Style is now out to $15.00 with Ladbrokes ahead of Saturday’s feature.
Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) winner Viddora remains the favourite at $2.7, while Perth’s top jockey William Pike will ride $6.00 second-elect Enticing Star.
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