The Sportsman Weekend
A dream come true
Parker Thinks he can topple rivals in the George Main
KERRY Parker could never have dreamt on the day when he saddled-up his first winner at his home track at Kembla on Cox Plate Day in 1991, that he would have a red-hot chance in the nation’s premier weight-for-age event 30 years later.
Parker, like all trainers, remembers his first winner like it was yesterday.
Her name was Fille De Rolle, a nondescript relative of Les Bridge’s 1987 Melbourne Cup winner, Kensei.
Granted, it was only a maiden but still a triumph for Parker who was able to do what others couldn’t.
“I think I was her fifth trainer and she was a five or six-year-old maiden when I got her,” Parker said
The mare has a connection with this newspaper – the race Fille De Rolle won was The Sportsman Maiden Handicap.
Fast forward three decades, and Parker is well and truly in the big time – again – with the best horse he has trained, namely Think It Over.
The Bylong Park-owned son of dual Cox Plate So You Think winner aims to add Saturday’s George Main his George Ryder win.
Think It Over was virtually unwanted when he won his first major but it’s a different story this time, with the horse coming off a narrow but thoroughly determined win in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes 14-days ago.
“His will to was there to be seen, he tried really hard,” Parker told Sportsman.
“You have just got to look at his record. He is very consistent and he tries really hard every time you send him round.”
Think It Over is no Super Impose, but his numbers at Royal Randwick are best.
Parker’s gelding has raced there at exactly half of his 26 starts, winning four times.
“That seems to be go,” Parker said. “A nice big track gives him time stride out.
“He is a very long striding horse and I think what gets him is when you get onto wet tracks. He probably just lacks a bit of confidence to stride right out.
“He just takes a while to build into that long and that’s where Randwick suits him.”
Think It Over will potentially need to turn in a personal best on the weekend against a horse who Parker described as a champion mare in Verry Elleegant.
“He seems to be just taking the steps as you would like. His first two runs this time in have been terrific,” the trainer said.
“At his first run the Winx, he got into that bit of a scrimmage there but then when he balanced up, he really attacked the line.
“Then of course he showed how much he attacked the line the other day.”