The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Kerry Parker’s comeback king Think It Over returned to winning form third-up after a lengthy let-up nailing fellow warhorse Zaaki right on the line in a thrilling finish to the inaugural 7 Stakes 2023 results.
The 2022 Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner spent 497 days off with a tendon injury but continued his huge return to racing with a well-deserved victory in the $1 million 7 Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
“I’m absolutely rapt, it’s wasn’t just me to get the horse back, there was a lot of people putting a lot of work into him,” winning trainer Parker told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-victory.
“It’s just a thrill to have him back and to make it all worth while, to win a really nice race and he’s done that today.
“You’re never confident with a bowed tendon. We just made sure Tim Boland did everything possible for him. Whatever had to be done was going to be done.
“If he didn’t make it back, well he wasn’t going to make it back he was going to retire on top. No one told the horse that, he was just going to be a racehorse no matter what. He just loves it.”
The now eight-year-old son of So You Think defeated Zaaki back in April of last year in a big upset on a Heavy (10) track and was too good for the weight-for-age champion again this time over a mile.
Think It Over was eye-catching first-up only 1.46 lengths off Fangirl in the Winx Stakes before his third at this track and trip on September 2 when a half-length behind surprise winner Navajo Peak in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
Today for the 7 Stakes it was an inch-perfect ride from Nash Rawiller whose peach of a performance got the horse home first by a nose.
Rawiller was huge in the saddle giving one of his favourite horses a perfectly-timed run, picking Think It Over up at the right spot on the home straight to force a two-horse battle between him and the Annabel Neasham-trained nine-year-old Zaaki who had raced clear 250m out.
“I’m very proud,” Rawiller said after the win.
“That was a gallant performance. I just relied on the horse’s ability and his will to win.
“I was reluctant to come out from behind him (Zaaki) because I thought he was still running time.
“It’s no good coming out and attacking him now cause we’re still going 100 mile an hour, I just waited until I sensed that he was waiting for us or beginning to feel the pinch.
“As soon as I showed my bloke that bit of daylight, he wasn’t laying down he just attacked the line.
“For a horse that’s come from where he has, to pull out a finish like that is just unbelievable.”
The giant killer snared victory in the final stride in a memorable comeback thanks to a master training performance by Parker.
“As I said, he enjoys the racing and he loves being in work,” Parker said.
“I’m just absolutely thrilled for everyone involved. To get him back and win a race with him, you just hope you can get him back to win one and to win that was just super.”
One-time favourite Fangirl meanwhile was good making up late ground after being shuffled back during a far-from-ideal run to round out the 7 Stakes trifecta in third for Chris Waller.
The 7 Stakes winner is exempt from ballot for the Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) in a fortnight, however Think It Over is unlikely to target the September 30 showdown.
Instead Parker confirmed plans to run in the Group 1 $5 million King Charles III Stakes (1600m) – formerly the George Main Stakes run on the now 7 Stakes-dominated meeting – held on The Everest Day on October 14.
“He’ll have four weeks off and go to the King Charles,” he said.
“That’ll be a nice result, try and turn him into a real ‘royal horse’ with a Queen Elizabeth and a King Charles.”
2023 7 Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Nash Rawiller||2||59kg||$5|
|2||2||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Chad Schofield||0.06L||6||59kg||$3F|
|3||9||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||1.98L||10||57kg||$3.40|
|4||4||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Regan Bayliss||2.01L||3||59kg||$19|
|5||5||ZEYREK (FR)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Andrew Adkins||2.31L||5||59kg||$31|
|6||10||GOING GLOBAL (IRE)||Chris Waller||Dylan Gibbons (a)||2.99L||1||57kg||$26|
|7||7||HOO YA MAL (GB)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||3.08L||4||59kg||$9.50|
|8||12||FIREBURN||Gary Portelli||Jason Collett||4.01L||11||56.5kg||$41|
|9||6||DIAMIL (IRE)||John O’Shea||Tom Sherry||4.78L||7||59kg||$101|
|10||3||ARAPAHO (FR)||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||6.14L||9||59kg||$51|
|11||11||HINGED||Chris Waller||Brett Prebble||30.07L||8||57kg||$13|
|8||PERICLES||James Cummings||Zac Lloyd (a)||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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