Top trainer Neville Parnham says Neufbosc is building to a peak performance and believes the imported stayer can rewind the clock in the A.T.A Stakes (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Neufbosc won the A.T.A Stakes two years ago before backing up a week later and scoring a thrilling victory over Truly Great in the 2021 Perth Cup when ridden by Parnham’s jockey-son, Chris.
Neufbosc, a grey gelding, named after a district in his native France, found a new lease of life on firmer tracks in Perth after he was originally bought as a Melbourne Cup horse.
The former European import raced for the Lindsey Park operation in Melbourne, but failed to live up to his international form and went without a win before crossing the Nullarbor.
Under Parnham he won the Listed Carbine Club Of WA Stakes (1400m) before progressing to take out the A.T.A Stakes and Perth Cup double in his maiden Perth campaign.
Parnham says Neufbosc is displaying similar signs to a couple of years ago and points to the eight-year-olds past two Ascot runs as proof he is building to peak form
Neufbosc pushed in-form gelding Marocchino to a long-neck second in the A.J.Scahill Cup (2100m) and chased strongly for third behind Buster Bash in the Towton Cup (2200m).
“He keeps improving and that was the plan,” Parnham said on Tabradio.
“We wanted him to peak for Perth Cup time and he’s getting pretty close to that now.
“I’m expecting him to shake things up on Saturday and run well.
“That should bring him right on for his Perth Cup start.
“He’s got a bit of age on him, but he’s in pretty good shape and is probably as good as he can be.
“He’s probably as close to where he was in that initial year that I had him.
“He’s a happy horse and that’s the key to him, when he’s bouncing he generally puts it together on race day and he’s like that right now.”
Neufbosc has drawn barrier three in the A.T.A Stakes and will be ridden by Brad Parnham.
With two scratchings, the field has been reduced to 10 starters.
Meanwhile, Parnham says classy sprinter Indian Pacific will resume racing after a short break on New Year’s Day.
“He galloped at Ascot yesterday (Tuesday) and went super,” Parnham said.
“I’m very happy with him and he’ll head to the Summer Scorcher.
“If he ran up to scratch I hope to take him to Victoria, there’s a race there up the straight over 1200m on January 14.
“And then I’ll probably leave him there.”
Parnham also said he was trying to secure a slot for Bustler in the Quokka at Ascot on April 15.