THE expertise of Josh Parr, who turned 26 on Friday, so evident on Kukri at Rosehill Gardens last week, will again be tested at Rosehill on Saturday.
On Kukri, Parr was able to dictate at a moderate tempo over the 1900 metres as the opposition was getting into a mess behind him.
However, the jockey has been dismissed from Kukri, a member of the Peter Snowden team, in the seventh and doesn’t have a ride in the race, one of the toughest of the day.
With the rail being eight metres out and considering the recent Rosehill pattern, being up front could again be an advantage.
Christian Reith takes over on Kukri, which again looks likely to go forward though there’s one possible drawback – O’Reilly’s Prize, prepared by Gai Waterhouse.
The trainer likes her horses up front pouring on pressure, but in her absence recently they have lacked the necessary horsepower.
O’Reilly’s Prize could be a pest around Kukri, giving the backmarkers a chance. Certainly Panko and Marden didn’t look likely behind Kukri last Saturday. Apart from giving too much start, they struck traffic jams, particularly Panko, highlighted in the stewards’ report.
”Panko appeared unlucky last start to many but we are not convinced and will be taking her on,” said Unibet’s Mark Cruickshank.
Apart from Marden, leading trainer Chris Waller has Thubiaan and Secessio doing battle. Thubiaan can take up an in-touch position but is resuming from a four-month spell.
Perhaps another import, Secessio, having only his second Australian start, was suited when pressure was applied early last start around Canterbury on a red-hot leaders’ track.
Maybe it won’t be much better on Saturday, with saddle initiative limited, but surely jockeys won’t allow Kukri to employ cruise control as he did last Saturday.
Verdict: Secessio ($5.50).
Parr is obviously still sweet with Snowden because the hoop is on several key chances for him, including Chiaramonte in the opening race. The colt is back after a spell but won two out of three attempts under Parr last campaign.
With speed assured from the Waterhouse dasher Never Dwell and the country gelding Azzalin, Chiaramonte will give a start. Never Dwell beat himself with erratic behaviour at Gosford last start and had to get a barrier-trial clearance before racing again, and indicated gear adjustments will assist.
Azzalin is fancied by Gerard Twomey (IASbet), who said on the Racenet poll of leading betting houses: ”Country visitor who streeted them in fast time at Port Macquarie. Can measure up here.” Verdict: Chiaramonte ($5).
MONEY FOR ROPE
Again the pattern of racing will be vital for Parr on topweight Frozen Rope in the second.
”Frozen Rope has furnished into a lovely big horse,” trainer Adam Duggan told AAP. ”He always had the frame but he’s really filled his frame out now.”
Owned by friends of Parr and Duggan, Frozen Rope unwound a brilliant finish when second over Saturday’s course and distance, 1500m, on January 1.
Clickety Snip and Falklands will go forward but it’s of matter of just how fast, testing Parr’s judgment of pace if a dawdle eventuates.
Disciple is consistent and with Corey Brown up will get maximum assistance, but Shaun Anderson (Sportsbet) doesn’t fancy him: ”Consistent gelding who is creeping up in the weights and looks a good risk at the short quote.”
Verdict: Frozen Rope ($4).
Parr returns to Sastruga, a failure last start, in the third. Sastruga was last over the Warwick Farm 1400m on December 22, her first start for nearly a month, after scoring in three consecutive races for Parr.
Still the Snowden mare takes on She’s Clean, which should have won when beaten less than two lengths by Caprossa, a point confirmed by stewards, over the Warwick Farm 1200m on January 5.
Trainer Waller has stuck with an apprentice rider, Shaun Guymer, who replaces Alysha Collett. The New Zealand lass will handle Writteninthestars, on which she has scored at their past two attempts, for Waller.
The question is whether punters want to take around $3, the quote about She’s Clean on Friday, with the question of whether she is ”an apprentice’s horse”?
Verdict: She’s Clean ($3).
Bello, with Parr up for Snowden, has credentials to account for Testarhythm, one of the strong fancies in the last.
Testarhythm had a half-length on the resuming Bello over the Canterbury 1250m recently. Bello meets him six kilos better but Testarhythm scored subsequently at Gosford.
Testarhythm promises to get the run of the race behind Merlin Mustang, but the Waterhouse factor comes into play with tempo as she has Samui Lad, which sat second behind Merlin Mustang at Warwick Farm last start, whereas he led to triumph at Rosehill previously.
Verdict: Bello ($9).
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.