A winning formula - Parchment aboard Summer Fun too good for Simply Magic Cup
JOURNEYMAN jockey Phillip Parchment has been on fire for owner Carlton Watson, booting home PRINCESS ANNIE at odds of 9-1 in the Jamaica Oaks, two Saturdays ago, followed by a two-timer at the weekend - EDDIE'S PRINCESS at 10-1 in an optional claiming and 13-1 stinger, UNCLE FRANK, bringing down the curtain on Saturday's 13-race card.
An aggressive, no-nonsense rider, Parchment gladly picks up the scraps at champion trainer Wayne DaCosta's barn, getting aboard mounts bypassed by first-call Omar Walker. In the Oaks, Walker had stayed aboard Guineas runner-up, LADY BLUE, whereas Parchment, grateful for the ride astride PRINCESS ANNIE, won with the underdog who he had partnered to a fifth-place finish in the Guineas.
It was almost a replay last Saturday with Walker abandoning UNCLE FRANK for 5-2 chance LOTTERY TICKET, who had questions surrounding her fitness, having returned to the races mid-March off a nine-month lay-up.
Superstitious to the ground on which they walk, horsemen hardly ever change a good thing so it is no surprise that DaCosta has kept Parchment on Watson's United States-bred SUMMER FUN for Wednesday's Simply Magic Cup at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Parchment has been astride SUMMER FUN for the gelding's five starts since he made his debut in March. The average-looking American for the falls into the category of DaCosta horses which Parchment would be aboard while Walker would opt for either a stable star or the next-best thing available outside, as he did on April 27, staying on Ian Parsard's KINGSMAN at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
As it turned out, SUMMER SUN, blinkers removed and going two turns for the first time, ran his best race ever, third into the lane and attacking 5-1 winner, LAYU KAWEN, who he allowed nine pounds, beaten by a half-length in a decent 1:58.3, finishing ahead of 1-5 favourite, BIG BANG.
SUMMER SUN again crosses paths with Anthony Nunes' BIG BANG, who had finished five and three-quarter lengths behind for third when both were beaten by LAYU KAWEN.
Taken aback by BIG BANG's dismal run following his impressive debut, clocking 1:26.3 for a near seven-length win against maidens three weeks earlier, and having galloped six furlongs in 1:14.3 alongside stablemate HOUDINI'S MAGIC at exercise, Nunes has declared his runner with a tongue tie for the rematch.
Whether a tongue tie will turn around nearly six lengths on SUMMER FUN is left to be seen. However, there is no doubt that DaCosta's American ran well without the blinkers and appreciates a distance of ground, which he had indicated when closing for third behind stablemate AMERICAN INVADER and HARRY'S TRAIN at five and a half furlongs on April 6.
In addition, SUMMER FUN had also allowed BIG BANG nine pounds. It is now a four-pound difference, making DaCosta's runner five pounds better off at the same trip.