Chris Parnham is optimistic he can figure prominently on racing’s biggest stage when he partners last season’s leading Perth juvenile, Whispering Brook, in the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Perth-born Parnham, in search of his first Group One success, has been booked to ride Whispering Brook at 49kg, replacing Nicholas Hall, who had been aboard the Simon Miller-trained filly at her past two Melbourne starts.
Whispering Brook is looking to atone and end her Victorian campaign on a winning note after she was a late scratching at the barriers in last Saturday’s Moonee Valley Vase, effectively ending her VRC Oaks assault.
Parnham is hopeful the daughter of Hinchinbrook can overcome a crack line-up, headed by TAB favourite, First Seal, and history by becoming the first filly to win the Myer Classic since it was first run in 1988.
Parnham’s confidence was boosted after Whispering Brook came through a Caulfield barrier trial on Tuesday in good order.
“She trialled very well under her own steam and all is going well heading into Saturday,” Parnham told The Sport’s Daily on TABradio.
“She feels really good within herself and I can’t wait for Saturday to get my first Group 1 and for Simon as well.
“She is an interesting runner with the weight and 49kg is going to bring her right into it.
“She is up against quality mares, but with that weight she will give them something to chase.
“I’m really looking forward to it and think she is a real live chance.”
Whispering Brook made it a clean sweep of two year-old races last season, winning the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m), Group 3 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (1100m) and Listed Supremacy Stakes (1100m).
In Melbourne she ran second in the Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, seventh in the Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) and third in the Thousand Guineas (1600m), the last two races run at Caulfield.
The three-year-old, who has earned $705,950 in prizemoney, is on the fourth line of TAB betting at $7.
John Thompson’s First Seal, a strong last-start winner of the Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, is the $4.40 favourite.
Don’t Doubt Mamma is $5 and Dixie Blossoms $5.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli