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Parnham replaces Oliver on Vezalay in Robert Sangster Stakes

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Promising Perth jockey Chris Parnham will replace the suspended Damein Oliver on Vezalay in the Group 1 $400,000 UBET Classic (Registered as Robert Sangster Stakes) (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.

Chris Parnham, above, replaces the suspended Damien Oliver on Vezalay in the Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Chris Parnham, above, replaces the suspended Damien Oliver on Vezalay in the Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Oliver was booked to ride the Leon and Troy Corstens trained Vezalay but was sensationally stood down from riding at yesterday’s Warrnambool Cup meeting having failing an alcohol breath test.

The three times Melbourne Cup winning jockey recorded an initial blood alcohol reading of .038 before .035 was recorded a short time later which is above the .02 limit set by Racing Victoria.

Oliver pleaded guilty to the offence after admitting that he had a few drinks over dinner on Wednesday night and was immediately stood down from his rides on the last day of the three day Warrnambool Carnival and can’t resumed riding until Queensland Oaks day at Eagle Farm on June 4.

“I am very embarrassed and sorry about it. I am disappointed in myself,” Oliver told stewards.

“I’ve never had any problems with this rule before in 20 to 30 years of riding.”

Parnham had tried his luck in Melbourne over the summer but has only just resumed riding after spending almost three months on the sidelines because of a broken foot he suffered at the Cranbourne jump outs on February 15.

The young jockey resumed riding at Belmont in Perth on Wednesday without success from three rides and is looking forward to riding at Adelaide’s Festival Of Racing.

The Corstens also snapped up Parnham to replace Oliver on Zebrinz in the $100,000 Grow Up Handicap (1600m).

Parnham has been set a tough task after Vezalay drew barrier twenty-three in the original draw but will still jump from the outside gate when the final field is reduced to the limit of twenty.

Vezalay is rated one of the outsiders of the Robert Sangster Stakes and is quoted at $26 with Ladbrokes.com.au after being unplaced from three runs from a spell.

The Shamardal mare resumed for a thirteenth to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27 followed by a fifth to Sultry Feeling in the Group 3 $150,000 TAB Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19.

At her latest outing Vezalay raced on the pace before fading to finish fourth to Two Blue in the Group 2 $300,000 Sensis Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on day two off ‘The Championships’ on April 9.

The Ciaron Maher trained Petits Filous heads an open market order at $6 just in front of Don’t Doubt Mamma at $7 and Group 1 Galaxy winner Griante at $7.50.

Market order for the Robert Sangster Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Petits Filous, $7 Don’t Tell Mamma, $7.50 Griante, $11 Badawiya, $13 Scarlet Billows, $14 Tempt Me Not, Sheidel, $15 Tuscan Sling, $16 Super Cash, $18 I Love It, $19 Miss Promiscuity, $21 Precious Gem, Sultry Feeling, Jalan Jalan, $26 Sabatini, Vezalay, Private Secretary, Runway Star, $31 Wawail, $34 Tycoon Tara, Miss Seton Sands, $51 Pittsburgh Flyer, $151 Secretmensbusiness.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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