Perth trainer Neville Parnham has resisted any temptation to give Malibu Style a crack at the Group One Goodwood and is instead keeping the sprinter in Melbourne to chase another stakes win in the Listed Straight Six at Flemington.
Malibu Style has been based at Flemington since early April for his Victorian campaign and has finished second twice in open handicaps in Melbourne either side of winning the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield.
The gelding raced down the straight at Flemington for the first time last start when second to Crystal Dreamer over 1000m and Parnham hopes he has gained benefit from that experience heading into Saturday’s $120,000 race over 1200m.
“From my limited experience with it, it would seem that’s what does happen,” Parnham said.
“They definitely can improve off that, so hopefully he will.
“He’s certainly well in himself. He’s bouncing around and in a good space at the moment.”
Parnham had Malibu Style nominated for Saturday’s $1 million Group One Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide where he would have had to meet top-class sprinters under set weights plus penalties conditions in The Goodwood.
“The Goodwood was tempting, obviously being worth a lot of money,” Parnham said.
“Realistically we looked at it and decided we would keep him in Melbourne.
“That way he doesn’t have to travel and he’s going to race where he should get in reasonably well on weights and it will be a similar race to what he was in when he won the Bel Esprit.”
Parnham’s son Steven will again travel from the west to take the ride on Saturday.
The Straight Six has 27 nominations with recent Wangoom Handicap winner Ulmann the highest-rated entry.
Parnham, who also had a winner at Caulfield on Saturday with Vital Importance, expects Malibu Style will prove hard to beat on Saturday.
“I was impressed with Ulmann at Warrnambool. He looked to win impressively, but he (Malibu Style) hasn’t put a foot wrong,” he said.
The Straight Six is one of two Listed races on Saturday’s program with the other the $200,000 Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) which has attracted 24 nominations.