Outsider Rommel upset odds-on favourite Disposition to win the 2014 Western Australian Guineas at Ascot this afternoon.
Promising filly Furious Dame jumped straight to the lead in the early stages of the WA Guineas and she set a very quick tempo in the early stages of the race, while Rommel was settled in third position more than two and a half lengths adrift.
Rommel took up the running at the 300 metre mark after Furious Dame tired coming the straight and Disposition loomed as the winner when he made a run down the centre of the track, but Rommel was too strong in the final stages of the race and held on to record a maiden win at Group level.
The Commands colt made a slow start to his spring preparation, but returned to his best form with a second place finish behind Disposition in the Listed Fairetah Stakes (1400m) on November 8 and jockey Steven Parnham was thrilled to see the three-year-old go to another level in the WA Guineas.
“His last run he sort of came back to form and he showed that he had turned the corner a bit,” Parnham said.
“We always believed that he had the ability and it was just getting him there.
“Today he won like a dominant horse, he put them away on the corner and I thought that he was strong on the line.
“He let down brilliantly and it probably nearly brings him into contention to go into the Kingston Town now and I don’t think that the 1800 would be beyond him.
“I thought that the mile would be cherry ripe for him, but we will see where he goes and he might get a touch further.”
Neville Parnham has always been confident that Rommel had the talent to perform at the highest level of racing and the veteran trainer was clearly delighted to see the colt live up to his potential in the WA Guineas.
Parnham confirmed that he will likely given Rommel a chance at Group 1 level in the Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in a fortnight and believes that the three-year-old would be a genuine chance in the race.
“We had the impression early on that he was going to be a really nice horse and 12 months ago he won on this day in his first race start and I said on that day that I thought he was my Guineas horse,” Parnham said.
“To pull it off 12 months later is something of a real achievement and we are pretty proud of the horse and proud of Steve.
“The horse is a good horse and hopefully we can go on and get into the Kingston Town.”
Disposition was far from disgraced in second position, but jockey William Pike said after the race that he thought the previously undefeated galloper was pulled out of his comfort zone by the quick early tempo in the WA Guineas.
Parnham is chasing his third win in the Kingston Town Classic after winning the race with Playing God in 2010 and 2011.