Talented young jockey Chris Parnham has to shed several kilos to partner lightweight chance Achernar Star in the Group 1 $1m Magic Millions-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Achernar’s Star is one of three three-year-olds to take on the older gallopers at weight for age and only has to carry 52kg which has forced Parnham to go on a strict diet and exercise program.
The other three year olds to run in the Kingston Town Classic are Dan and Ben Pearce’s colt Money Maher and Grant and Alana Williams’ filly Perfect Jewel who only has to carry 50kg under the weight for scale.
Parnham rode at 54kg at Bunbury on Wednesday and is hopeful of loosing the next 2kg before Saturday and give himself a great chance of collecting his first Group 1 win on the Simon Miller trained gelding.
“I’ve come close quite a few times but haven’t been able to win one,” Parnham told The West Australian.
“It’s been a bit frustrating but I’m only 20, so there should be plenty more opportunities to win one.
“I’ve just been a bit strict with what I eat and done more exercise this week.
“I’ve made the mistake of getting there too early and then having to hold that weight, so I’ve just got to time it right.”
Achernar Star has drawn nicely at barrier four in the fourteen horse Kingston Town Classic field and Parnham said he will be able position the three year old where ever he is comfortable from that gate.
“I can pretty much put him where I want from that barrier,” Parnham said.
“He’ll just settle where he’s happy to be.
“Black Heart Bart is obviously going to be hard to beat, but three-year-olds have a good record in the race.”
Achernar Star is marked at $11 for the Kingston Town Classic with Ladbrokes.com.au and is coming off a last start second to Perfect Jewel in the Group 2 $500,000 Sky Racing-W.A. Guineas (1600m) at Ascot on November 25.
The Darren Weir trained five times Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart heads the betting at $2.90 following his nose second to Great Shot in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 25.
Black Heart Bart will carry the number one saddlecloth and will jump from the inside gate with Brad Rawiller in the saddle.