Parnham Faces Tough Choice in Kingston Town Classic 2014

November 26th, 2014

Western Australian hoop Steven Parnham was caught between a rock and a hard place before last year’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) when he had to choose between riding the Fred Kersley-trained Ihtsahymn or his father Neville Parnham’s Playing God.

Moriarty (pictured) leads the Kingston Town Classic betting for which Ihtsahymn and Rommel will both contest.

Moriarty (pictured) leads the Kingston Town Classic betting for which Ihtsahymn and Rommel will both contest. Photo by Daniel Costello.

He chose Ihtsahymn, who he had just rode to victory two weeks earlier in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m), and the pair won the Group One race while Playing God finished in fourth place with Paul Harvey in the saddle.

Parnham is in an eerily similar position ahead of this year’s race as he must decide whether to partner Ihtsahymn once again or his father’s Rommel. However this time, it’s Rommel who heads into the race on the back of a WA Guineas win. Ihtsahymn meanwhile finished in the back half of the field in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) last Saturday.

The hoop has ridden both horses throughout their campaigns but must now choose between the pair for the 2014 Kingston Town Classic.

Rommel qualified for the Kingston Town Classic with his WA Guineas victory over the previously unbeaten Disposition and has come through the race really well according to his trainer.

“I took him for a walk and he was just full of beans,” Neville Parnham told Perth Racing earlier this week.

“To be honest with you he doesn’t know he has been around in a race.”

The trainer believes Rommel has what it takes to win the 2014 Kingston Town, claiming the horse is peaking at just the right time, but understands his son has a tough decision to make.

“Three-year-olds have a very good record in (the Classic) and I’ve won the race with a three-year-old.

“A three-year-old won it last year. With that 7kg pull off the older horses it has an impact for a good three-year-old.

“Steven is in exactly the same position as last year with an up-and-coming three-year-old and a horse who has won him a lot of races.

“He hasn’t made a decision, but he’ll wait for the next few days and make it from there. It is going to be hard for him.

“It was the pull in the weights which swayed his decision last year and he pulled the right rein because Playing God ran a gallant fourth but he couldn’t haul him in.”

Ihtsahym and Rommel are both $13 chances in the 2014 Kingston Town Classic betting market at, which is led by 2014 Railway Stakes winner Elite Bell and eastern-trained Moriarty at $6.