Western Australian galloper Rommel will head into the 2015 Australian Guineas as one of the favourites after he scored an impressive win in the 2015 Zeditave Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
Galaxy Pegasus took up the running in the early stages of the Zeditave Stakes and he looked like the winner when he kicked clear coming around the turn, but Rommel picked up in the final 150 metres to claim victory on the line.
Trainer Neville Parnham said earlier in the week that Rommel would be using the Zeditave Stakes as a lead-up event for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington next week, but he was clearly thrilled that the Commands colt would be taking winning form into the Group 1 event.
“It is quite a big thrill to bring a horse over and win a race with him,” Parnham said.
“This isn’t his main target and I am well aware that these aren’t Australian Guineas horses, but he will be much better suited next week at the 1600 meters and I am looking forward to the challenge next week.
“I thought that with the class of the horse he was probably above them, but the 1200 metres was a bit cautious.
“I am just happy that he was able to hold on just behind the favourite and Chris rode him along and got the best out of him.
“Once he flattened out he hit the line strong.”
Jockey Chris Parnham continued his stellar form since arriving in Melbourne and the talented hoop said that he was very pleased to have ridden a winner for his father outside of Western Australia for the first time.
Parnham said that Rommel hit a flat spot at the top of the straight, but he was thrilled with the way that the talented three-year-old worked home in the final stages of the Zeditave Stakes.
“He is a lovely horse and he only came to Melbourne a couple of days ago, so to come out here and win a Group 3 race only the good ones can do it,” Parnham said.
“He should be a good chance next weekend in the Australian Guineas.
“He dropped the bit coming around the corner and I really had to stoke him up, but it is just a massive thrill to get a win for Dad.
“He has had so much success and puts so much hard work into these horses and to get a big win over here is just a big thrill for him.”
Chris’ brother Steve Parnham will partner Rommel when he takes on the likes of Disposition, Wandjina and Kermadec in the 2015 Australian Guineas.