Chris Parnham will ride in Queensland for the first time when he chases a breakthrough Group One win in the Tattersall’s Tiara.
Victorian-based jockey Parnham, who began his career in his home state of Western Australia, has the ride on My Poppette for trainer Robert Smerdon in the final Group One race of the Australian racing season on Saturday at Eagle Farm.
“A few of the guys that normally would ride her are away so I was lucky enough to pick up the ride,” Parnham said.
Mark Zahra is on holidays, while Dwayne Dunn, who rode the filly last start in Brisbane, is chasing his first Melbourne premiership but is also suspended this week.
Parnham rode My Poppette to a second placing at Flemington in the filly’s second start more than a year ago when she was formerly trained by Colin and Cindy Alderson.
He is happy to be back aboard.
“I’ve never ridden in Queensland before. I’ve ridden the other way of going a few times, but not many, so it’s going to be a bit different but I’m looking forward to it,” the 19-year-old said.
“I expect her to run well. Obviously she’s going to be an outside chance but if she brings her `A-game’ I think she can be right there.”
My Poppette, a Group Two winner against her own age and sex last spring in Melbourne, covered ground from the outside barrier when finishing 11th in the Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm last start.
“Hopefully she draws a nice gate for Saturday and can get a nice run,” Parnham said.
Parnham’s best finish in a Group One race has been second on Smokin’ Joey in last year’s Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.
“Hopefully I can go one better,” he said.
Smerdon has already struck at this year’s Queensland winter carnival with Under The Louvre winning the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
Parnham is also booked to ride the Smerdon-trained Odyssey Moon in the Healy Stakes and Indarra in the Daybreak Lover Stakes.
Trainer Ciaron Maher confirmed favourite Azkadellia will take her place in the Tattersall’s Tiara after he watched her gallop at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.
Maher is confident the mare can bounce back from her last-start 10th in the Stradbroke.
“She was really enthusiastic and her action looks in great order,” Maher told radio station RSN.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au