Parker Thinking Big As Warhorse Takes Off For Autumn

Trainer Kerry Parker says it’s probably expecting too much of his star galloper Think It Over to strike first-up at Randwick on Saturday but he’s confident of making his presence felt through the autumn.

Trainer Kerry Parker (Pic: Steve Hart)

The eight-year-old won the Group 2 $300,000 Petaluma Apollo Stakes (1400m) two years ago and wrapped that campaign with his biggest win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The latter is Parker’s natural aim for the $7.8 million earner and at this stage of the preparation he sees no reason why he won’t be there again on April 13.

“He’s going into it terrific, his trials have been very good, but he’s an eight-year-old now and he might take that little longer to come up,’’ Parker said.

“But he’s going really well and no doubt there’s a bit of improvement in him.

“A year ago we weren’t in any of these races so to be back heading down this path is brilliant.”

Think It Over, who opened $8 with TAB in the Apollo, had a well publicised 18 month absence from racing with a tendon injury that could easily have seen the 2022 Queen Elizabeth be his final race start.

Parker nursed the horse back and he made a successful return last spring winning the $1 million 7 Stakes (1600m) at his third run.

The Kembla Grange trainer may have had a few nerves about getting him back for that campaign but it’s been business as usual this time around and that can only be a good sign.

“I’ve just gone through the motions normally getting him ready,’’ Parker said.

“I think by the time I’d got to going to the races in the spring I was very confident.

“I brought him in and had given him a good, solid, foundation so I was pretty sure he was just going to turn up and run well.

“If he was at risk, if I had any slight doubt he wouldn’t have gone to the races. Now we’re back to normality and just heading towards the preparation.”

Jockey Nash Rawiller gave Parker a glowing report from his two barrier trials, particularly the second where he was asked to do a bit more and hit the line into third behind Pericles over 1000m on January 30.

“He flew the gates in his first trial and I think he was a bit upset with Nash for easing back, but it showed his will was there, and in his second trial he was really strong through the line,’’ Parker said.

“If you watch the run on he was just ripping, he went terrific. Nash said he felt great, did everything right and in his last trial he extended.”

Of course being an eight-year-old, Think It Over is nearer the end of his career but at this stage, given Saturday will only be his 40th start, Parker sees no reason why he won’t keep going for another season or so.

“It’s always in the back of your head, I’m not sure how many preparations we get with him,’’ he said.

“We just take each one as it comes. So far so good, it looks like he’s full on and ready to get back to the sports.”

Meanwhile, the autumn carnival is looking unlikely for Parker’s top class mare Hope In Your Heart after she sustained a cut to a hind leg that required stitches.

He’s not given up on the five-year-old racing again this season but D-Day will come in the next few weeks.

“We’ll know a bit more when the stitches come out whether we hit the back end of the carnival or look to Brisbane,’’ he said.

“We’re going through the motions, it’s healing well and she’s sound so we’ve got to see how she comes through it all and make the decision where we head or do we sell her as a broodmare.”

– Racing NSW

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