Neville Parnham has warned punters not to underestimate God Has Spoken in the $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on Thursday.
God Has Spoken has not won in three years and is reaching the end of a top career but Parnham is not prepared to write off the eight-year-old.
Punters don’t share Parnham’s optimism and despite God Has Spoken’s recent Perth Cup record, he is rated one of the rank outsiders at $31.
God Has Spoken, a winner of $1,129,250 in stake earnings from his 65 starts, ran second to Black Tycoon a year ago and Western Jewel in 2012.
The Blackfriars stallion is one of two Perth Cup starters for Parnham with former eastern states galloper Bass Strait a $26 chance.
Both stable mates rounded out their preparations behind glamour mare Elite Belle in the C.B.Cox Stakes (2100m) two weeks ago.
Bass Strait finished ¾ length third while God Has Spoken was doing his best work late to be placed ninth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths.
Parnham said God Has Spoken was reaching peak fitness and cannot be underestimated on his track gallop earlier in the week.
“He has been working the place down,” said Parnham on TABradio.
“He just lacks fitness and it’s taken me time to get him fit.
“He didn’t have the advantage of a winter preparation after coming back from Melbourne feeling sore.
“If anyone saw his work yesterday morning (Tuesday) they would be thinking he had as good a chance as anyone in the race.
“I think as he is getting older he has been crying out for the 2400 metre trip.
“I’m expecting him to come to the fore and think he is underrated.
“He is as good a chance as most in this race.”
Bass Straight has been a wonderful acquisition for Parnham’s stable with his victory in the Group 3 Peters Stakes last November (1500m) a highlight.
Parnham is confident the five-year-old will run a competitive race but without a victory beyond 1700m he is a query at the Perth Cup distance.
“He has worked very well but is suspect at the trip,” said Parnham.
“He will give a good sight but I’m wary he can run out a strong 2400m.”
Bass Straight drops 5kg on his Cox Stakes run and will carry the 54kg minimum.
He has drawn barrier 18 for apprentice, Chris Parnham.
Jarrad Noske takes the reins on God Has Spoken from barrier 10.
God Has Spoken also drops 5kg from the Cox Stakes and will carry 54kg.
God Has Spoken’s regular ride Brad Parnham will ride second favourite, Respondent.