Talented galloper Free Trade is primed for the toughest test of his career to date when he lines up in the Crown Perth Handicap (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday, according to jockey Chris Parnham.
The son of Trade Fair scored back-to-back wins last month, but heads into Saturday’s event off a six week break after he was unable to gain a start in a similar race a fortnight ago.
Trainer Michael Lane elected to give Trade Fair a trial at Belmont last week where he finished second to In Love With Paris, who is also engaged in Saturday’s event.
Parnham said the six week break between runs was some concern, but added the gelding had the ability to overcome any issue that presented.
“He trialled very well so all signs are he will run to his best on Saturday,” Parnham told The Races WA.
“He’s flying…If he turns up to his best he will be very hard to beat.”
Free Trade, a winner at three of his four career starts to date, opened $9 with TABtouch, only to be quickly met with solid support into equal favouritism with Stageman at $4.40.
Parnham will be hoping to start the day in style when he rides Miss Tycoon, trained by his father Neville, in the Free Entry To Belmont Park Plate (1000m).
The Written Tycoon filly strung together two wins in a row prior to her last start second to No Apology on June 15.
Chris Parnham rides one of his current favourite gallopers @PerthRacing on Saturday in Free Trade.
— The Races WA (@theracesWA) June 27, 2019
Parnham said he expected the two-year-old to make her own luck in front from barrier three.
“She’s a typical two-year-old type,” he said.
“She’ll be on speed and be very difficult to beat.
“She was very good at her first start and then just missed at her next start.
“Hopefully she can produce her best.”
Perhaps the most intriguing of Parnham’s rides on the card comes up in the Ken Dyson 80th Birthday Handicap (1300m) where he rides City Circle.
The City Place filly was desperately unlucky last start when fourth to Distant Trilogy on June 15.
It was only the second time in her 11 start career she missed a top three placing.
Parnham said he was too cautious on the filly, also trained by his father Neville, last start and would likely be more positive this week.
“She bounced out of the barriers quite quickly and I probably erred a little bit and should’ve just taken up the running,” he said.
“I let one go around me and that stopped in my face at the top of the straight.
“She hit the line really good and hopefully she can run well on Saturday.
“She’s drawn well so she should be able to sit in the first half dozen.”
Miss Tycoon and City Circle are both well in the market for their respective races at $3.90 and $4.20 with TABtouch.
Parnham also has rides on Blackline, Invisible Pro, Shapita and Rare Coin on Saturday’s Belmont program, which gets underway at 12.33pm.