By Ray Hickson
Josh Parr is keeping tight lipped on the tactics he’ll employ as he has a second attempt at bringing down Winx at Randwick on Saturday.
Almost two weeks after Parr had the racing world talking about his daring ride on Red Excitement in the Chelmsford the jockey is working on how he'll attempt to cause an upset in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m).
With Tom Melbourne not running, Ecuador appears the only other likely pacesetter. But exactly what Parr has up his sleeve he’s not revealing.
“The tactics that Gerald (Ryan) and myself took into the Chelmsford were based on what track we had, the surface, the draw and the fact there were a lot of stayers resuming,’’ Parr said.
“That process will happen again, we'll work out the opposition and the track we have and work out the best way to ride him.
“Never expect the same thing over again.’’
Using the Punter’s Intel data from the Chelmsford, Red Excitement was 25m in front of Winx at the 600m as Parr tried to steal the race.
Re-live Winx running Red Excitement down in the Chelmsford Stakes – September 2
That forced Winx to really go into overdrive and she ran 10.80 between the 400m and the 200m and brought it home in 11.22.
Parr said he’s watched the replay of the Chelmsford countless times and can’t see anything he would have done differently if he had the chance.
“It all worked out really well for us, each sectional was a nice even tempo so there wasn't a furlong I thought I could have given him a breather,’’ Parr said.
“Except the result there's no part of that race I'd like to change.’’
It’s a safe bet that Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman wouldn’t concur with that last statement and, in a light moment after the Chelmsford, Bowman let Parr know.
“We shook hands and I said it was a bit of fun and he didn't agree,’’ he said.
“It was a good spectacle and I think it was a good advertisement for our sport.’’
Unlike stablemate Menari, who he rides in Saturday week’s Group 1 Golden Rose, Parr hasn’t been on Red Excitement’s back since the Chelmsford.
That’s simply because it’s not in Parr’s best interests.
“I don't ride him work, he's very strong and one of Gerald's main riders Tyson rides all his work because he's about the only person in NSW that hold him at trackwork,’’ he said.
“I saw him at the track on Tuesday and he looked fantastic, he’s in good shape so I can't see how that race affected him too much.
“He's a tough horse who is very seasoned, is in career best form and it's a perfect time to have a shot at a Group 1.’’
While he’s again going to do his utmost to bring down Winx on Saturday as she chases her 13th Group 1, Parr concedes the champion is close to unbeatable and is definitely not a critic of her two close calls this spring.
“Like a true champion she seems to overcome any hurdle that's thrown at her. In her two runs this preparation nothing has gone right and she's still won so it's hard for me to say she's beatable,’’ he said.