Trainer Neville Parnham is uncertain whether he will start WA Guineas winner Rommel in Saturday’s Magic Millions 3YO Trophy (1200m) at Ascot.
Parnham has paid up for the $100,000 race, but is giving serious consideration to running the Commands colt first-up against Disposition in the CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
Rommel’s prime goal this autumn is the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7.
The TAB has installed Rommel as a $21 Guineas chance.
The Australian Guineas this year clashes with the Group 1 $600,000 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
“Whether he will run in the Magic Millions or the Hayes … I am still tossing it around,” Parnham said.
“At the moment he is running on Saturday, but that could change in the next few days.
“If he runs over 1200 on Saturday, he then has to go three weeks into a mile and I’m not sure that is the correct program for him.
“I do think he can get away with it, but I am still thinking about it … I am pretty happy with him.
“He only had three weeks off so he had a fair bit of residual fitness in him.”
Parnham will dash up Fremond over 400m at Lark Hill today in preparation for his first-up assault in Saturday’s $250,000 MM 2YO Classic (1100m).
The leading trainer will have three starters in the sales-restricted feature, with fillies Light Up The Sky and Esperanca also set to run.
Fremond impressively won the season’s first two-year-old race, the Initial Plate (1000m) at Belmont Park on October 11, before he finished an unlucky fourth to MM rival Lucky Street over 1000m at Ascot a fortnight later.
“He had about six weeks off and he has done a fair bit of work,” Parnham said.
“The objective was to keep him nice and fresh and head first-up into the Magic Millions.
“Then keep him going for races like the Karrakatta Plate.
“I am really happy with him.
“He galloped on Saturday morning and sprinted up well. He wasn’t slow at his jump-outs and trials, but he was a bit slow out at his two races and that is why he will trial tomorrow.”
Steven Parnham will ride Fremond, with younger brother Brad to partner Light Up The Sky.
Trainer Simon Miller has booked Shaun McGruddy to replace the suspended Peter Knuckey on Puteri Jewel.
The Demerit filly survived a double protest to win on debut over 1100m at Ascot on New Year’s Day.
“Shaun’s strike rate for me is really good,” Miller said.
“She came off two 400m trials first-up and was vulnerable over 1100m.”
“At the moment he is running on Saturday, but that could change in the next few days.”
The West Australian