Josh Parr was on fire for the last couple of months of last season, yet at Randwick on Saturday he might have only one ride. Parr has regularly ridden doubles around the metropolitan scene in the past couple of months but because Tommy Berry and Hugh Bowman are back in Sydney from Hong Kong and a couple of other hoops are back from holidays finding a ride is tough. “It seemed there for a while that everything I was riding was winning,” Parr said. “It was clearly the best period of my career because I made the most of my opportunities. With everyone back there is less opportunity there but I just have to make the most of what I have got on Saturday.” Parr will team with the promising Saintly Lad again after a sizzling win at Canterbury, where the gelding came from last at the top of the straight to score. “He has always had the potential to do that,” Parr said. “He got a bit of reputation there for a while of not getting the job done but it might have dropped what racing is about and if he shows that dash again they won’t be beating him on Saturday. He just dropped and pinned his ears back at Canterbury like a real good horse.” They tackle the fourth event, the 1800-metre Wallabies Cup. Parr’s other ride at Randwick, Inkling in The Rosebud (the fifth race), could be scratched as he appears poorly weighted against a top-quality field after a couple of winter wins. “I spoke with Peter and Paul [Snowden] about it and they said they will wait until Saturday to make a final call, but when you look at it he is being asked to give weight to everything in the race because of a couple of wins in the off-season.” Earmuffs do trick for Tony McEvoy’s Rifleman
Tony McEvoy found the secret to the stirry Rifleman when he joined his yard: earmuffs. “I have only had him for the one run but we realised straight away that we had to calm him down,” McEvoy said. “He had blinkers on but they were just firing him up and he was running his races before he got to the barriers. We gave him the two barrier trials in Adelaide in the earmuffs and then he was much better first-up here for us.” The blinkers and crossover nose band were replaced by earmuffs and a tongue tie at Rosehill and he boomed home to win. “I think he is a 1000m horse and it will be interesting to see how he backs up,” McEvoy says of the gelding entered in the seventh race at Randwick on Saturday. W”e will be selective with his races but he has always had talent and hopefully we can get it out of him.” James McDonald likes Saravejo in The Rosebud
Premier jockey James McDonald will be out to give the Godolphin blue a first black-type win for its Australian stable when he rides Sarajevo in The Rosebud on Saturday. After two barrier trials he is excited to see what the colt can do in the Randwick fifth event. The Lonhro colt won his only start, a Kensington maiden, but has been installed as favourite for 1200-metre The Rosebud on the back of his two trials and is well in betting for the Golden Rose. “It must have been some maiden win,” McDonald said. “I rode him in both the trials and the first one he was just there to have a look around and not do that much. Last time I gave him a squeeze and he won it easily. It was hard not to be impressed by that and there is plenty more there, I hope.” McDonald also has the ride on Messene in the 1200m Missile Stakes, the sixth race, for his biggest supporter, Team Hawkes. “He is up against the weight-for-age horses now but he is up to it,” McDonald said.with a touch of confidence.
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