Neville Parnham likes his chances of capturing another victory in the $200,000 Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
The WA Hall of Fame trainer is confident his in-form filly Ellicazoom can join Superior Star who etched her name on the honour roll in 2002.
Ellicazoom, who is out of Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes winner, Ellicorsam, was an $180,000 purchase at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions sale.
The talented filly is living up to her price tag and Parnham’s lofty assessment with excellent wins from her opening two starts this preparation.
She defeated Leitfaden first-up and rocketed into Champion Fillies Stakes favouritism after scoring in the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m).
Parnham’s son, Steven, retains the mount on Ellicazoom. In a field of 12 starters they combine from barrier five.
“You would think from the barrier she should get into a nice spot and if she can have that turn of acceleration at the 1600m, which I’m pretty confident she will, she does look like the one to beat,” Parnham said on TABradio’s The Sports Daily.
“She is the stand out filly at the moment who has hit form at the right time and I’m more than happy with her.”
Simon Miller, who won the race with Miss Rose De Lago three years ago, will pin his faith in a second victory with Caipirinha and Royal Missile.
Caipirinha, who led to win the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) in October, meets Ellicazoom on 2kg better terms after finishing a length from her in the Burgess Queen Stakes.
Royal Missile won two of her lead up races and rallied strongly from a long way back in the Burgess Queen Stakes, finishing fifth in race fastest final 600m.
Miller admitted Ellicazoom was the horse to beat, but said that very little separated his two charges and ultimately track conditions would determine their fate.
“I’m pretty lucky that I have one that goes forward and the other one mid-field so dependent on how the track plays and tempo they will be around the mark,” Miller said.
“I can’t split them, but I would love to get black-type for Royal Missile.”
Jockey, Joe Azzopardi, continues his association with Caipirinha from barrier seven. Peter Knuckey, who rode Miss De Lago to victory in 2013, takes the mount on Royal Missile, their starting position is barrier two.
Meanwhile Miller is confident First Among Equals can bounce back to take out the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) after a luckless run in last Saturday week’s Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m).
The Exceed And Excel gelding was one of a number of runners caught up in a massive traffic jam in the home straight, unable to find clear running room when 10th, but just 2 ½ lengths from Rock Magic.
“There looks to be a lot stronger tempo again and hopefully they can break the field open and have a chance to get out,” Miller said.
“He is going really good.”
First Among Equals has drawn gate three for Paul Harvey.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli