Top Perth jockey Chris Parnham is confident he will be able to gain a medical clearance to ride Extra Zero in the Group 2 $250,000 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on Saturday after being cleared of any fractures from a fall at Ascot on Wednesday.
Parnham was dislodged from Classy Twister and hit the turf hard in an incident in the straight in the 0 – 64 Handicap (1600m) that also saw apprentice Jordan Turner fall heavily from Excellently.
While Turner will require surgery to a fractured eye socket and cheek bone, Parnham was able to head home and rest in a bid to ride on the weekend.
“I have some muscle soreness, but nothing too serious,” Parnham told The West Australian.
“I feel confident I will be able to ride on Saturday, but I do need to get the clearance tomorrow.”
If Parnham is cleared to ride he will be teaming up with Extra Zero for the first time after Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra partnered the nine year old when seventh on a heavy track in the Group 1 $1m Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot a fortnight ago.
Parnham is expecting Extra Zero to put in a better performance back on top of the ground in the C.B. Cox Stakes this week and was pleased with his work on Tuesday morning.
“He did long work and came up sharp over the last 400m,” Parnham said.
“He seems to be going along well and he is at his best distance over the 2100m.”
Co-trainer David Hayes is also glad to see the Ascot track return to a Good 3 rating and also expects Extra Zero be more competitive.
“He got the wrong conditions,” Hayes said.
“It was incredible to get a wet track in Perth in December.
“I think he can improve and 2100 is probably his ideal trip.”
The veteran galloper hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since January at the beginning of this year when he won a 2000m Flemington Open Handicap but his best effort to date was five starts later when he was beaten a nose by stablemate Spillway in the Group 1 $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
Extra Zero, who has drawn barrier ten in the eleven horse field, is listed as a $15 chance for the C.B. Cox Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au who have local mare Delicacy the odds on favourite at $1.50.
Perth Cup winner Real Love is next in the market order at $4.60 ahead of Black Heart Bart and Balmont Girl and Balmont Girl at $12.
C.B. Cox Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Delicacy, $4.60 Real Love, $12 Black Heart Bart, Balmont Girl, $15 Extra Zero, $18 Dark Musket, $26 Tower Of Lonhro, $31 Kirov Boy, $91 Ask Me Nicely, $101 Bass Strait, Woodsville.
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