Perth apprentice Chris Parnham made the most of a flying visit to Melbourne by capturing the feature race at Sandown on Friday.

The training team of Leon and Troy Corstens enticed the 17-year-old to Melbourne for the Sandown meeting and Parnham didn’t let them down by guiding Tried And Tired home in the Listed Christmas Stakes.

Backed from $6 into $4.80 second favourite, Tried And Tired scored a 1-3/4 length victory over favourite Lord Of The Sky ($3.80) with Go The Knuckle ($13) 1-1/4 lengths away third. Parnham made a trip over to Victoria last weekend, partnering Parcel to a winning debut at Bendigo and had no hesitation in returning when Troy Corstens put in the call.

The apprentice returned to Perth and enjoyed Christmas with family before catching the late plane to Melbourne on Christmas night. Parnham returns to Perth on Sunday after riding at Moonee Valley and will partner Bass Straits in the Perth Cup at Ascot on New Year’s Day.

With previous wins at Listed and Group Three level in Perth, Parnham labelled the Christmas Stakes victory as one of the top three of his so far brief career. Parnham, who rode trackwork at Mornington for Wez Hunter during a recent suspension, has plans to return to Melbourne next month.

Leon Corstens said Parnham was a talented young rider who wasn’t tied down with any specific instructions on Tried And Tired. “I was a bit surprised to see him lead,” Corstens said.
“I said to him before the race that you’ve got to sum things up a bit when the barriers open.”

Corstens said Tried And Tired may head to the Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Januray 17.

Runner-up Lord Of The Sky is likely to seek revenge in that race, but first the entire could back-up in the Standish Handicap at Flemington next Thursday. Lord Of The Sky took a sit behind the leaders Sumakaray and Tried And True and peaked on his run in the last 100m.
“I think the run will top him off,” trainer Robbie Laing said. “He added a new string to his bow today by settling well behind the pace.”

Craig Brennan