The ride on unbeaten Blue Diamond hopeful Take Pride is an opportunity jockey Cory Parish is grasping with both hands.
Parish has ridden the Murray Johnson-trained Take Pride to wins at Seymour and Flemington and retains the ride in Monday’s Blue Diamond Fillies Preview at Sandown.
Take Pride will clash with Blue Diamond favourite Fontiton, among others, in the Group Three race as Parish chases his first stakes win in Australia.
He also rides her stablemate, Sandown Guineas placegetter Berisha in the Manfred Stakes.
“I ride them in work pretty much every day. Murray has been really loyal in keeping me on and the same with the owners. They’ve been great to give me that opportunity,” Parish said.
Another strong performance from Take Pride and Parish could find himself riding in the $1 million Blue Diamond next month.
“It would be really nice to keep the ride,” he said.
“I’ve just got to keep working as hard as I can and do everything right to be able to keep it.
“It would be an amazing opportunity. It’s hard enough to get a ride in a race like the Blue Diamond but to have a contender, you always wish for something like that.”
Take Pride proved a class above her opponents on debut at Seymour before venturing to Flemington where she won her second start on New Year’s Day.
Fontiton, a six-length winner on debut at Moonee Valley in October, is odds-on favourite for Monday’s Preview with Take Pride sharing the third line of betting at $7.50.
While Monday’s race is another step up, Parish says Take Pride is yet to be fully challenged and he believes the talented filly has more to offer.
“She’s given me a very good feel and she hasn’t really been released, as such,” he said.
“I think all she needs to do is have a horse challenge her to show that bit more. I don’t know where her top is going to be.”
Parish, 25, began his career in New Zealand and spent a few months of his apprenticeship in Queensland.
He rode 15 winners over the jumps in New Zealand and moved to Victoria a couple of years ago.
His first Melbourne city win came last June on Warwarick for David Hayes.