Hi Fans and Punters.
What a huge week it has been in racing and as usual, I have been all over it like Sumo wrestler on a lady beetle.
It was great to see that the upcoming sprint race at Randwick (it is still 6 months away), The Mountain or the Steep Hill or whatever it is called, has had all its slots filled……enough to make your eyes water. The self-funded race has been bought out by a heap of rich people who can now either run their own horses in the race or sell their spot to another rich person. Anyway, credit where it’s due, they came up with the concept and have now made it come true. Let’s hope it’s a great race.
The Randwick carnival started yesterday with the big day spoiled somewhat by a biased track. It seemed a bit like a two-lane highway, up the inside and making ground out wide on the turns was impossible. Having said that, with the rain we have had in the East, it is a credit to the track staff that the meeting even went ahead. And the racing itself was fantastic.
The stars of the saddle, Hugh, Craig Williams, Blake Shinn and Sammy Clipperton rode to the bias and won the early races and the next gun, Damian Lane won the Derby on Jon Snow. Chautauqua produced the best win I have ever seen making it three straight feature sprints at Randwick and then the great man, Zac Purton, produced a gem aboard It’s Somewhat, to lead all the way and win the Donny for John O’Shea and Godolphin. I would have normally given the Award to Zac, a kid from Northern NSW who has made it big, but he does not have enough room left in his trophy cabinet for my prestigious Award. However, he has told me that he has a new cabinet on order and when it lobs, he will call me so that he can be considered for my Award in future years.
But the bloke who really impressed me yesterday was young Chris Parnham in Perth.
He is a young fellow, still only 20 years old, and the son of a great racing family in the West, having Neville as his Dad and Steve and Brad as his older brothers.
He floats between Perth and Melbourne and caught my attention last year with his riding down South where he narrowly missed his first Group 1, running second on Voodoo Lad at Caulfield.
Yesterday he struck early at Ascot winning aboard Glimmer Girl for Grant Williams. But it was his ride in the Group 3 Oaks which was worth bottling, outriding the king of the West, Willie Pike. You don’t often see that happen.
He rode Very Tempting who drew barrier one with the long odds on favourite and stablemate, Royal Star drawing outside him. They raced together with Chris being held in a pocket by The Wizard and it looked to be all going perfectly for the hot pot.
However, 1100 from home, the bolter Cassowary Street left the one-one position and took off. Chris was awake, Willie was asleep, and Chris popped off the fence at that split second and pushed Willie a pair back further than he wanted to be. In a telling move, Chris waited until something took off from the back and pocketed Willie before taking off himself before the turn and trying to pinch a break. He dashed for the cash at the top of the straight but then Willie got out and set after him on the $1.30 favourite. Just when it seemed certain that Royal Star would go past Very Tempting, Chris sat down and rode his filly out with great poise and balance and pushed her head down right on the line to get the verdict in a great display of horsemanship.
Seriously, if you get the chance, have a look at the replay. It was the ride of a kid who is destined for the top. That split-second decision he made at the 1100 to pop off the fence and get a break on the favourite no doubt won him the race.
So Chris, my new brother. I know you are from a great family and being from the West you probably like a drink. So next time I get over there, grab your Dad and your brothers, meet me at the local pub, and you can all buy me a beer.
Until next week this has been Tommy from Campbelltown………signing off.
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