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Playing God timed his return to winning form to perfection, taking out the Group One Kingston Town Stakes at Ascot in front of his home town crowd for the second year in a row.

Punters shied away from Playing God in Saturday’s 1800m feature following his mixed spring campaign in Melbourne and disappointing effort in the Railway Stakes two weeks ago.

He was sent out at $19 with Railway Stakes winner Luckygray the $2.80 favourite.

Riding for his trainer father Neville, Steven Parnham had Playing God up with the leaders ready to pounce.

He made his move on Playing God at the top of the straight and held off the challenge from Ranger (3.70) by a length with the same margin to WA Guineas winner King Saul ($5.50).

“Everybody wrote him off. I was probably the only one who didn’t,” Neville Parnham said.

“We took the sprint out of his legs in the Railway after four solid runs so we changed his training.

“I sent him down to my farm for the past couple of weeks. He’s been in a paddock and he’s been going to the beach.

“We planned to run closer to the speed because it’s hard to make up ground on a day like today.

“Steven rode him perfectly.”

Parnham said Playing God would now go to the spelling paddock with another trip to Melbourne in the autumn on the agenda.

Steven Parnham said it was a thrill to score a second Group One on the horse.

“I’m just excited to be in it. We don’t have many Group Ones over here,” he said.

“I got across nice from the barrier and he relaxed.

“When I pulled he grabbed the steel and kicked clear well.

“He delivered everything he had.

“The staff have done a terrific job and I have to take my hat off to them.

“He was down and out in the Railway.”

Luckygray, whose win on protest in the Railway will be the subject of a legal challenge from the connections of He’s Remarkable, finished fifth without ever looking a threat.


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