Breaking through for undoubtedly his most impressive career victory when claiming the Group 2 W.A Guineas (1600m) at long odds at Ascot over the weekend, trainer Neville Parnham has revealed he may target the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) with talented three-year-old Rommel through the 2015 Autumn Carnival.
Jumping from the gates well in the W.A. Guineas, jockey Steven Parnham settled Rommel in prime position on the heels of early leader Furious Dame; receiving an ideal run in transit and maintaining a strong sprint in the final straight to deliver clear favourite Disposition his first competitive defeat.
Understandably thrilled with the Commands colt’s performance in the W.A. Guineas, Neville Parnham told Racing Retro he is unsure is Rommel is in the same class as his 2010 W.A. Guineas champion Playing God, but is confident both Rommel and Disposition have the skill required to figure in major east coast races through autumn.
“I think they’d be competitive in a race like the Australian Guineas,” Parnham said.
“Next year the Randwick Guineas is run on the same day and one of them is probably going to be weakened off a faction I’d say, but in saying that there is a top group of three-year-olds on the east coast.
“I took Playing God over there and he ran third, and probably an unlucky third behind Shamrocker that year and then he came out and ran third in the Australian Cup.
“This horse probably hasn’t quite shown his brilliance, but he’s still a work in progress.”
Winning the Peroni Plate (1000m) on debut in late 2013 before immediately returning to the paddock, Rommel continued to impress upon returning to racing for second in the Magic Millions Perth 2.y.o Classic (1100m) and victory in a minor over 1000m on March 8th, but was unable to match the late pace when failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) on March 29th.
Slowly building to the task over his five start spring preparation, the colt out of I’mtoogoodtobetrue placed ninth in a minor over 1200m first-up, eighth in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) on October 18th and sixth in the Variety Bash 3.y.o+ (1200m) on November 1st before placing second to Disposition in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) in his only other start prior to the W.A. Guineas.
Yet to contest an event at the highest level of Australian racing, Parnham has confirmed Rommel will be entered for a tilt at the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 6th.