A good performance in Caulfield’s $120,000 Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) this weekend could see Perth raider Malibu Style head to Adelaide, but trainer Neville Parnham believes The Goodwood will be out of his horse’s depth.
This Saturday in Melbourne Magnus five-year-old Malibu Style will have his second successive start at Caulfield Racecourse, stepping up in grade for a shot at the Bel Esprit Stakes.
The gelding comes off his maiden run outside of W.A. when runner-up to Crystal Dreamer in the $100,000 Sandown Park (U.K.) Handicap (1000m) at the Caulfield track on April 8.
Malibu Style drops a half-kilo from that run getting into the Bel Esprit Stakes field on the 54kg minimum and his Ascot-based trainer Parnham is hoping the horse can score the upset with his son Steven retaining the mount.
The galloper’s last win was on December 10 last year back home in the Listed R.S. Crawford Stakes (1000m) and with winning form up to 1300m the extra 100m of the Bel Esprit shouldn’t be out of his range.
“He’s been in Melbourne for a few weeks now,” Parnham told AAP.
“He’s had a look at that track now, the extra 100 metres should suit and he’s had a couple of more weeks to get a bit fitter.”
Parnham is eyeing a trip to South Australia in the coming weeks with Malibu Style to be set for a number of races during the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival.
One Morphettville feature the horse is unlikely to make the cut for however is the $1 million Group 1 Darley Goodwood (1200m) run on May 20.
“At this stage Adelaide is an option but the Goodwood is probably just a bit out of his depth because of the [set weights plus penalties] conditions,” Parnham said.
“There are other lead-up races that could be suitable but there’s also a couple of races after this one at Flemington, an open sprint over 1000 metres and a straight six, that look good options.
“We’re probably likely to give him another couple of runs after this if he goes well enough.”
Earlier in the spring, Parnham brought over his gun filly Ellicazoom who is now spelling after a last place finish (11th) to Oregon’s Day at Moonee Valley on William Reid Stakes Night (March 24) in the Group 3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m).
Prior to that the three-year-old daughter of Testa Rossa enjoyed successive Group 2 seconds.
She was runner-up to Savanna Amour on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day in the Angus Armanaso Stakes (1400m) and then second to Group 1 winning filly I Am A Star at Flemington in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) on Super Saturday.
Parnham didn’t bring Malibu Style over at the same time as Ellicazoom however, his interstate raid saved until after the summer springs back home.
“He didn’t come over with her but when we thought we might be extending her preparation I sent him across,” he said.
As for The Goodwood, nominations for the feature Adelaide sprint close midday on Tuesday May 9 with all-in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au led by Darren Weir’s defending champion Black Heart Bart ($2.60).