Neville Parnham sets sights on WATC Derby

Trainer Neville Parnham is banking on Zipaway’s resilience to deliver him a first Schweppes-WATC Derby (2400m) success at Ascot on Saturday.

The WA Guineas winner returned to Parnham ‘s Ascot stable on Monday night, following a Melbourne campaign.

The three-year-old finished third in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Alistair Clark Stakes (2040m) at Caulfield and Moonee Valley respectively while in Melbourne.

Those placings came either side of a luckless run behind Southport Tycoon in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.

Parnham said he didn’t expect the travel to have an impact on Zipaway this weekend but was mindful of his busy schedule getting back to Perth.

“He went up to Sydney on Thursday night and he got there on Friday,” Parnham told TABradio.

“He was stabled out at Bryce Heys’ place at Warwick Farm over the weekend and he did a bit of exercise there.

“There’s been a bit on for the horse.

“Having to race this Saturday, we just want to make sure everything is right with him.

“It looks good at this stage.”

Jockey Steven Parnham reunites with Zipaway this Saturday, where he has drawn barrier two in the capacity field.

Zipaway is one of two runners in the race for Parnham, with J.C. Roberts Stakes (1800m) runner-up Alaskan also set to line up.

Parnham said Alaskan couldn’t be dismissed, despite being comfortably beaten when fourth in the Melvista Stakes (2200m).

“He’s probably not as good a horse as what Zipaway is,” he said.

“He will stay the distance, whereas Zipaway still is a bit of a question mark.

“Alaskan does relax and his run was good the other day.

“In my view, I think he’s the horse to beat in the race.

“My two horses will run very well in the race.”

Zipaway was installed the $3.60 TABtouch favourite for the $400,000 event and quickly supported into $3.40.

Melvista Stakes winner Buckets Ridge is on the second line of betting at $4.40, while WA Oaks winner Own The Queen has also been supported into $7.

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