Top Perth apprentice Chris Parnham will fly back from Melbourne in time to ride Bass Strait in the Group 2 $250,000 LD Total – C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Parnham is currently serving a careless rising suspension and took the opportunity to ride some trackwork in Melbourne while on the sidelines.
The seventeen year old is based at Wez Hunter’s Mornington stables and has been mixing up his morning trackwork between there and the city tracks.
Parnham can resume riding on Friday is keen to take mounts at the Yarra Valley day meeting and the Moonee Valley night card before flying back to Perth on Saturday morning.
“I’ve been over here since Thursday riding a bit of trackwork at Flemington and Mornington,” Parnham told The West Australian.
“I’m riding work at Moonee Valley on Monday and Caulfield on Tuesday.
“It’s a pretty good experience and it’s a good thing to do while I’m suspended. At this stage I’ll ride at Moonee Valley Friday night and possibly during the day (at Yarra Valley) as well.”
But the talented young rider is keen to get back home to reunite with Bass Strait who is trained by his father Neville Parnham.
The pair combined for a win three starts in the Group 3 $150,000 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) at Ascot on November 15 giving Parnham his best race win to date.
At his latest run Bass Strait travelled near the tail of the field before running home for sixth to Moriarty in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 6 and Parnham was pleased with the run.
“He was a good run last start,” Parnham said.
“He probably just got a bit too far back. Hopefully he’ll be a bit more forward in the Cox Stakes.”
Bass Strait has drawn barrier two and Parnham will get the opportunity to hold his ground early from the inside draw and have the five year old closer to midfield.
The Holy Roman Emperor gelding was trained by David Hayes and Tom Dabernig in the early part of his career before being transferred to Neville Parnham to prepare for races during the Festive Of Perth Racing over the Summer.
In early C.B. Cox Stakes betting Bass Strait is well up the market order at $5 behind the two favourites, Balmont Girl at $3.50 and Elite Belle at $3.80.
Last year’s winner Ihtsahymn is next in the betting at $10 just ahead of the 2012 victor Mr Moet at $11.
Chris Parnham is currently running second on the Perth apprentice jockey’s premiership table with twenty-two city winners, three behind another rising star Lucky Warwick on twenty-five.
Warwick and Parnham are also prominent in the overall jockey’s table and are running second and third behind the tearaway leader William Pike who has forty-two wins for the 2014 – 2015 season.