Apprentice jockey Chris Parnham will get the chance to add more wins to his already strong Victorian record on Friday seeing as he has booked rides in both black-type races running at Sandown Racecourse on Boxing Day.
Parnham will ride the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained Tried And Tired in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) before partnering Sweet As Bro in the Listed Master Yearlings Heat 2 Stakes (1600m) which is otherwise known as the Lord Stakes.
The apprentice hoop had his first rides outside of Western Australia at Bendigo Racecourse last Sunday, winning both. Corstens was impressed with Parnham’s ability and keen to snap him up for his horses at Sandown.
“He’s ridden a bit of work for me down here at Flemington and obviously I’ve been watching him for a bit and think he’s a good kid, so I’m happy to give him a chance,” the trainer told Racing Victoria.
Tried And Tired is one of 11 sprinters tacking the 2014 Christmas Stakes alongside the likes of Ready To Rip, Lord Of The Sky, and Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) runner-up Mr Make Believe.
The five-year-old gelding will have to overcome a start from the widest gate and carry 56.5kg, which is five kilograms down from the 61.5kg weight he carried home to fourth in a Benchmark 90 over 1200m on November 29. He then carried 58.5kg in the Lola’s Gift Handicap (1400m) on December 13, in which he finished just one length behind the winner in fifth place.
Corstens is hopeful the weight will turn the gelding’s luck around, considering he looked the winner and should have won his last two starts.
“I would have liked to have seen him finish off that little bit better, but I think back to the 1200 is going to help,” Corstens said.
“I think down in the weights is going to help him a little bit as well.”
Sweet As Bro meanwhile will tackle the mile of the 2014 Lord Stakes alongside the likes of heavyweights Mouro and Akzar. The five-year-old gelding will carry the minimum weight of 54kg and jump from midfield in barrier six.
The gelding last won the Listed Kilmore Cup (1600m) on February 23 but Corstens is confident he’s ready to return to the winner’s circle after finishing just outside the placings in the Booralite Park Handicap (1600m) last time out.
“He’s getting there,” Corstens said.
“It was a much better run last start, he’s on the right track and not far away from hitting his peak again I reckon.”
The Christmas Stakes and Lord Stakes are just two of eight races running at Sandown Racecourse this Friday.