Group 1-winning mare Kay Cee is in top order and ready for a race return in this Saturday’s Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) according to Hall of Fame trainer Neville Parnham.
The $1.26 million-earner hasn’t raced since finishing 10th in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 5 following an indifferent campaign but has had the benefit of two recent trials ahead of her winter assault.
Parnham had the Playing God four-year-old scheduled for a third trial outing at Belmont this morning, however, he says his plans changed after seeing the weather forecast.
“She had a pretty searching gallop on Saturday morning on the grass,” Parnham told TABradio.
“There was obviously this expected rain that was going to come and I didn’t know how it was going to play with the track.
“I decided to give her a pretty solid workout with another horse, she worked with Bam’s On Fire actually, and they had a pretty strong workout.
“I thought she’s had the two trials now and she’s had a couple of really solid gallops since, and she’s not a thick-winded horse, so she’s ready to go there on Saturday.
“She’ll perform very well, I’m sure.”
Bam’s On Fire, a Group 3 winner at Caulfield for previous trainers Ciaron Maher and Eucstace, is a new acquisition for Parnham’s stable after finishing unplaced at her past five starts.
Having only been in his care for a short period, Parnham isn’t able to draw a comparison on the five-year-old’s training but was pleased with the pair’s workout.
“I obviously don’t know a lot about her, but she worked quite strongly in another gallop earlier in the week,” he said.
“I thought she would test Kay Cee in the gallop and she went with her, but over the concluding part of the workout and up the hill, Kay Cee was better.
“Since her last trial and watching her work, I think Kay Cee’s improved considerably.
“I knew she had between the trials but when I saw her workout last Saturday week, I knew she had taken great improvement out of that trial as well at Belmont.
“She’s in tip-top order and ready to go to the races on Saturday.”
Asked about his plans for Bam’s On Fire in WA, Parnham says the Universal Ruler mare is also a likely Belmont Sprint starter.
“At this stage she’s running in the Belmont Sprint as well and she’ll need to show me tomorrow or Wednesday morning that she’s ready for that kind of thing,” Parnham said.
“If not, she’ll go to the paddock, but at this point she’s going to the races there on Saturday.
“I’ve been satisfied with her work and she’s had to come over by road which is not ideal.
“I’m really happy with her but if we think she’s not going to run up to standard, we’ll probably pull the pin and get her ready for the summer carnival.
“If she goes around and she performs well then there’s a chance she might go to the Hyperion, otherwise she’ll go to the paddock and come back for the summer carnival.”
Meanwhile, top two-year-old Flying Missile will be turned out for a break after scoring another impressive win at Belmont on Saturday.
A victor at four of her past five starts, Parnham says the versatile daughter of Cable Bay has the right attributes to continue her success next season.
“She’s a smart filly,” he said.
“She’s fast and she finishes her races off, she’s not just a speedy horse that shows signs of weakness.
“She’s actually as strong if not a lot stronger on the line than most so she might have a bit more a future as a three-year-old.
“She’ll have a few weeks out there then we’ll bring her back for the new season.”
Parnham also confirmed exciting three-year-old Brooklyn Pier will race first-up in the next fortnight, while Group 1-placed sprinter Indian Pacific and reigning Perth Cup winner Neufbosc will return to training this week.