Jockey Josh Parr can’t wait to reunite with his Golden Eagle winner Obamburumai when the Japanese galloper returns to Sydney to chase the Group 1 $4m The Star Doncaster Mile.
The four-year-old will be joined by a team from three-time Queen Elizabeth Stakes winning trainer William Haggas, including Dubai Honour, adding some high class international flavour to the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Parr is rapt to be asked to continue his association with Obamburumai given he picked up the Golden Eagle ride a few days out when champion Japanese jockey Yutaka Take was injured and unable to make the trip for the $10 million feature back in November.
“I’m pleased that he’s coming back for a start and coming back for one of our biggest races,’’ Parr said.
“The opportunity to ride a horse with his potential in a Doncaster is very exciting.
“It’s a race steeped in history, all the champions have won it, and he showed great potential winning the Golden Eagle and if he’s still on the rise then, my gosh, who knows what we can expect.”
Obamburumai hasn’t raced since his Golden Eagle win, where Parr weaved a passage through the field from the middle of the pack to deny the Godolphin pair of Pericles and Golden Mile.
He’s been deftly handled by trainer Keiji Yoshimura and the Doncaster Mile, where he’s currently $11 with TAB, will only be the entire’s seventh race start.
“He’ll have six months of physical development under his belt and that’s exciting,’’ Parr said.
“What we saw and what I felt back in November was extremely pleasing. What he showed here as an inexperienced horse was just remarkable.
“I think he’s a very versatile horse, he’ll handle wet or dry, I think you could train him for a six furlong race. He gave me the indication that whatever you throw at him he’ll be ready for.”
With Rachel King currently riding, and winning Group races, in Japan it’s natural to ask Parr whether he’d like a stint in the powerful racing mecca – and of course he wouldn’t say no should the opportunity arise.
“The JRA is a jurisdiction that’s very prestigious, most jockeys want to have a go and try themselves there,’’ he said.
“Their horses are elite and wherever they go around the world they seem to win but I’ll happily keep ticking off races here for the time being.”
Meanwhile, William Haggas is expected to travel at least three horses to Sydney hoping to build on the success of Addeybb and Dubai Honour who have won three of the last four editions of the $5m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
It’s been confirmed by Haggas that the King’s horse Desert Hero won’t be one of them as he’s being saved for Royal Ascot but Post Impressionist, now owned by Lloyd Williams, is being aimed at the $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) while lightly raced gelding Mutjaba is also in the mix.
Dubai Honour is set to enter quarantine in the UK on February 15. He’s raced three times since his Queen Elizabeth win, running third at Sha Tin in the QEII Cup and finishing unplaced in the Eclipse Stakes and Champion Stakes in the UK.
He’s the $4 favourite in TAB’s pre-noms Queen Elizabeth market.
Post Impressionist has won three of his 13 starts and was a last start winner over 2816m at Haydock Park on September 9. Mutjaba has had nine starts for five wins and hasn’t raced since running second over 2112m at Chester back in May.
– Racing NSW