In-form jockey Chris Parnham makes his next foray into Victorian racing this Saturday, when he heads to Flemington to ride Lucky Liberty in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Parnham has already enjoyed success in blacktype races in past trips to the east coast, and rode at the Caulfield Guineas meeting last October, where he was placed on Petrology in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap.
The 21-year-old has ridden the Henry Dwyer-trained gelding twice previously, including a victory at Sale in October 2016.
Despite being a six-year-old, Lucky Liberty is still a relatively fresh horse on the scene, winning six of his 15 starts.
The gelding finished second to fellow Newmarket contender Ken’s Dream first-up at Flemington on February 18.
Parnham said he knew it would be a tricky assignment for Lucky Liberty, but felt he still had a chance to cause a boil over in Melbourne’s premier handicap sprint.
“He’s probably 40 to one for a reason,” he said
“There’s a few horses in there with better form than him, but he could run a bold race.”
Lucky Liberty is ranked the $41 outsider of the field in TABtouch’s Newmarket Handicap market, which is headed up by three-year-old Merchant Navy at $4.60.
Defending champion Redkirk Warrior is a $6.50 chance, while WA sprinter Rock Magic is a $16 chance.
Parnham said he remembered riding Lucky Liberty from 2016, and felt this would hold him in good stead come Saturday.
“It does help that I know the horse,” he said.
“There’s a few quirks I know about, and I know the way he races.”
Lucky Liberty has drawn barrier 13 for the $1.25 million event, and Parnham said he would more than likely look to come down the middle of the track on Saturday, following a similar pattern of recent races down the straight.
Parnham also has the ride on the Cindy Alderson-trained Riel Reward in the Listed Incognitus Stakes (1100m) on Saturday’s Flemington program.
Riel Reward broke through for her first win last start at Ballarat, and steps up in class on Saturday.
Parnham said the three-year-old filly was also outclassed in the Listed race, but did show enough in her maiden win to warrant some respect.