Neville Parnham, who features prominently on a bumper nine race card at Belmont tomorrow, has given punters a lead by declaring Star Bay the best of his representation.
Stable mates Clumsy, Gondiggin, Confusing and Vonus are expected to be in the mix of their respective races, but it’s Star Bay who commands Parnham’s attention.
Parnham believes Star Bay is well placed in the Channel 9 Handicap (1200m) and says it will pay to ignore his last start defeat when luck deserted the Sebring colt.
Following two contrasting wins at Belmont midweek when he raced on pace and from the tail of the field, Star Bay placed eighth after getting held up in the straight.
“He never had much of a chance and didn’t get a run at them,” said Parnham on TAB Radio.
“His run was very very good and he has drawn out in the middle where he can get galloping room.
“He looks well placed against similar company to his other wins earlier.
“His is adaptable but I expect him to settle just off them and have a good finish.
“I think he will very hard to beat.”
Parnham is confident he can get the best out of Rontana Beach and revive her campaign in the Westspeed 2YO Plate (1200m).
The Northern Meteor filly shed her maiden status two starts back before suffering cardiac arrhythmia when last to Chantski.
One of three Parnham runners, Rontana Beach marks the comeback for his jockey son, Steven, who returns after a knee injury.
Rontana Beach, who has drawn the widest gate in the field off 11, ran third in a warm up trial to, Arcadia Dream.
“She will measure up and drawing out wider on what appears to be a wet track might not be the worst that can happen,” said Parnham.
“She came through the trial pretty easy and wasn’t pressured at all.
“The winner shows ability and came out to win well on debut.
“With a bit more pressure she could have won but the instructions were to give her an easy trial.
“Her subsequent work has been excellent and she is ready to go.”
Parnham concedes Clumsy was disappointing last-start when she faded to ninth behind Pop Hero.
His believes fitness may have played a role after an excellent first-up third to Sheza Scandal.
He expects a better effort from Clumsy, to start from gate four for apprentice, Shelby Bowtell, in the 92.9 Handicap (1200m).
“She will improve considerably,” said Parnham.
“She will be fitter and is in the right class.
“She will run very well.”
Gondiggin sat behind a hot speed and was one of a few to have stuck on well when 4 ½ lengths second to Miss Gelana a fortnight back
In form rider, Ryan Hill, jumps back aboard, Gondiggin. He will guide the mare from gate four in the Danmar Homes Handicap (1700m).
Hill has enjoyed a good association with Gondiggin, riding her to one win and two placings from her six starts this campaign.
“She ran very brave the other day and did a great job to hold on off a great speed,” said Parnham.
“She is a tough nut and is in the right race to win.
“Ryan gets on well with her and she will again produce her best.”
Parnham believes Confusing is knocking on the door of victory and can prise it open in the Tabtouch Win Today Collect Today Handicap (2200m).
The son of Blackfriars has had three runs back this time in and last-start he ran a creditable 1 ¼ length second to Tuscan Reign.
“I thought his effort was pretty good and he has his foot on the till,” said Parnham.
“My only concern is the weight (59kg) he is carrying which is right up there.
“I think he would be very hard to beat if the track is not too heavy and the weight doesn’t get to him.”
Parnham says Vonus has enjoyed a good preparation and is holding form ahead of the Westspeed 3YO Handicap (1000m).
RWWA: Julio Santarelli