WA Hall Of Fame trainer Neville Parnham isn’t underestimating the big hurdle facing his top sprinter, Indian Pacific when he resumes at Belmont on Saturday.
Indian Pacific is favourite to win the Listed Heineken Belmont Newmarket (1200m), but Parnham believes stiff opposition and carrying top weight will hinder the gelding’s prospects.
Allocated 61.5kg, Indian Pacific is a firm $3.20 market leader with Tabtouch, tightening from $3.60 while major rival and $4.20 second elect, Son Of A God, is on the 54kg minimum.
If successful, Parnham can add a third Belmont Newmarket to his bulging list of racing accomplishments after Call Me Henry won in 2005 and Blonde Jev took it out in 1991.
Parnham says Indian Pacific, first up after two winning trials and back on home turf after a top Melbourne autumn campaign, faces testing conditions to win the Belmont Newmarket.
“I think he will find it hard to win with the weight too be honest,” Parnham told The Races WA.
“It’s a big weight on a heavy track that he is going to have to carry and it’s not going to be an easy task.
“He’s giving a good horse like Son Of A God a 7.5kg weight advantage.
“He’ll try his heart out as he always does but with that sort of weight, he could find it tough over the last 100m.”
Parnham is keen for Indian Pacific to have another crack in Melbourne for the upcoming spring carnival after sound efforts at Flemington earlier in the year.
He ran second to Perth-owned sprinter Fabergino in the Listed Bob Hoysted (1000m) and filled the same placing behind Zoutori in the Group 1 Newmarket (1200m).
Parnham says a return trip to Melbourne is uncertain.
“The complications around COVID make it difficult,” Parnham said.
“In a perfect world he would be over there, but if he went how would he get back in time for our summer carnival.
“I’m still not certain, but at this stage my gut instinct tells me he will be staying in Perth and maybe we go over in the autumn.
“After Saturday there is also an outside chance, he could run in the Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m).”
10-year-old Malibu Style gives Parnham dual representation in the Belmont Newmarket.
The Magnus gelding has not raced since December and is currently $19 in Tabtouch markets.
He will jump from barrier three for Steve Parnham.
Indian Pacific has drawn barrier nine, Brad Parnham continues his association.
The Idyllic Prince Stakes, a Listed event, is run at Belmont on August 28.
Belmont is rated in the Heavy (8) range for Saturday’s meeting.