Top apprentice Chris Parnham will ride at Moonee Valley on Friday night before returning to Perth to pilot Bass Strait in Saturday’s $250,000 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot.

Currently serving a careless riding suspension, Parnham took the opportunity to ride trackwork in Melbourne when approached by Mornington trainer Wez Hunter.

The 17-year-old has a busy schedule, flying back to Perth the morning after riding at Moonee Valley ahead of Bass Strait’s tilt at the Group 2 Cox Stakes.

“I’ve been over here since Thursday riding a bit of trackwork at Flemington and Mornington,” Parnham said.

“I’m riding work at Moonee Valley on Monday and Caulfield on Tuesday.

“It’s a pretty good experience and it’s a good thing to do while I’m suspended. At this stage I’ll ride at Moonee Valley Friday night and possibly during the day (at Yarra Valley) as well.”

Hunter was based at Parnham’s father Neville’s Ascot stables this spring with Smokin’ Joey, who ran fourth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).

Bass Strait gave Parnham the biggest win of his career in last month’s Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m). The former Victorian galloper hit the line powerfully when sixth in the Railway and Kingston Town.

“He was a good run last start,” Parnham said.

“He probably just got a bit too far back. Hopefully he’ll be a bit more forward in the Cox Stakes.”

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