It’s been 12 months since Kerry Parker’s Think It Over finished 11th in the Rosehill Gold Cup, and what a difference a year makes. Since that failure the So You Think gelding has posted five victories and earned over $2.2 million in the process, and the six-year-old lines up for an extra payday this weekend.
His wins have come in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup and Craven Plate, the Group 2 Chelmsford and Hill Stakes and the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes, and if he can salute in this Saturday’s edition of the Rosehill Gold Cup he’ll pick up an extra $1 million on top of the $430,500 winner’s purse.
The bonus is a new initiative from Racing NSW that rewards horses that can post the Craven Plate – Rosehill Gold Cup double, and Parker’s galloper is one win away.
“It’s been a very good year that’s for sure,” Parker said.
“Last year, I knew we hadn’t reached the top of him, I knew he was going to keep maturing.
“You hope they are that good, but most of the time you are wrong. It’s nice to have one that has kept going.”
The $1 million bonus has played a large hand in Parker deciding to stay in Sydney rather than heading south to chase the Melbourne carnival riches, and with Covid protocols in place, it made more sense for him to stay home and target the Gold Cup.
“I’d have to send him down there with other people, and there’s a possibility he wouldn’t have a had a gallop there (at Moonee Valley),” Parker said.
“I don’t think you could win the Cox Plate without ever seeing Moonee Valley first.
“It’s not an ideal prep for a Cox Plate and there’s plenty of options up here.
“Five years ago you couldn’t have done that because there were no races up here for him once the carnival was over.”
It could be a very lucrative day for Parker who also lines up Tampering in the $700,000 Four Pillars Midway, another new initiative from Racing NSW which is specifically for Midway eligible trainers. This event is very similar to the Kosciuszko where winning slot holders negotiate and select their runners from a list of nominations, and the Kembla Grange trainer is over the moon his Pendragon gelding has earned a spot.
“Benchmark 68 horses racing for that sort of prize money, it’s amazing,” Parker said.
“It’s one of those races where there could be ten winners. It’s just going to come down to luck in running.”