Kerry Parker is Melbourne Cup dreaming with Think It Over and he’s hoping his improving stayer can take a step towards the world famous two mile when he steps out at Randwick.
The Kembla Grange trainer heads to NSW racing headquarters with high hopes as his son of So You Think prepares to tackle the ATC Farewells Subzero Handicap (1500m) this weekend.
It’s a fair way from the first Tuesday in November, where Think It Over holds a nomination among a list of talented overseas and homegrown talent.
But Parker knows what it takes to reach Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington and is prepared for the challenges ahead.
He has competed before in ‘the race that stops the nation’ despite only managing a modest sized team south of Sydney at Kembla Grange.
Parker had his first runner in the feature with Gold Sovereign in 1994 before Don Raphael won his way into the main event by claiming the SAAB Quality, now Lexus Hotham Stakes, a decade later.
“It was always the aim to try and get Think It Over in the Cup this year so I will suppose we will find out,” Parker said.
“We will aim up towards The Metropolitan and then see how he goes when we go that way.
“We are a lot way from the Cup at the moment but I have had two in the Cup before in Gold Sovereign and Don Raphael.
“You still have to make the field and there are plenty of good stayers around but if he can get there that would be fantastic.”
Think It Over is currently $201 for the Melbourne Cup with bookies.
The five-year-old has only been in Parker’s stable for the past 12 months after moving to his yard from John Sargent last spring.
Parker tested Think It Over in stakes grade during the autumn in races likes the Group 3 N E Manion Cup (2400m) where he was fourth and the Group 3 Chairman’s Quality (2600m), finishing eighth.
“He has grown up a lot,” Parker said.
“When we first got him he was a big kid and life was a big game to him and we had to try and focus him up a lot.
“I think during his last preparation when he had a few starts in those stronger staying races it made him grow up a bit.
“We put him in the paddock to freshen up for nine to 10 weeks. He strengthened physically and mentally.”
Think It Over is a $6.50 chance in his second assignment on Saturday where he will be piloted by Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss.
The gelding just missed when running over 1400m fresh, finishing runner-up to McCormack first-up.
“He has come along nicely since that first-up run while I would have been happier if it were a mile for him second-up,” Parker said.
Parker intends to target the Group 3 Kingston Town (2000m) at Randwick on September 19 after Saturday’s assignment.