Leading Perth trainer Neville Parnham says his judgement will be put to the test when gun filly Ellicazoom chases a Group 2 victory at Flemington on Saturday.
Parnham elected not to run Ellicazoom in the Australian Guineas (1600m) and instead she will tackle the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) against her own age and gender.
Parnham said the daughter of Testa Rossa was ready to return to the winner’s list and go one better after a top Melbourne debut at Caulfield on February 25.
The three-year-old proved she was not out of her depth against top company, battling on gamely to finish a short-head second to Savanna Amour.
Parnham said Ellicazoom, who ran a slashing second to Enchanted Dream when first-up in the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy (1200m) at Pinjarra, would be at her peak.
“She is in top order and came through the Melbourne run really well,” Parnham said.
“It was a tough run and a fighting run, but she was very brave to only go down by a short head.
“She had a very good gallop on the Flemington grass Tuesday morning and worked at her best form so she is ready to go again.
“I would be thinking she is nearing her peak and is pretty close to being spot on.”
Parnham says I Am A Star, who holds favouritism over Ellicazoom, poses the biggest threat to his charge.
The Shane Nichols-trained filly has Group 1 status next to her name after taking out the Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington last October.
Her autumn campaign commenced brightly in the Rubiton when she ran second to Super Cash. Last-start she ran unplaced in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
“It’s no easy race but I’m A Star is obviously a talented horse who only two starts ago beat home Chautauqua,” Parnham said.
I Am A Star, who heads the TAB market at $2.20, will be ridden by Dean Yendall. The daughter of boom sire I Am Invincible, has drawn barrier 4.
Ellicazoom, rated a $6 chance, will start from barrier nine for Parnham’s jockey son, Steven.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli