By Ray Hickson
Josh Parr doesn’t need 5.8 million reasons to want to win the Everest on Deploy – to do it for long time supporters John and Pam Cornish is reason enough.
The 30-year-old is rapt to be able to ride one of Sydney’s in-form sprinters in the $10 million TAB Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick for owners that have supported him for over a decade.
They handed him his first city winner – a mare called Sharp Aunty at Warwick Farm on July 29, 2006 – and he’d dearly love to take out the biggest race he’s ever ridden in.
“When you create a bond like that it’s nice to continue the relationship with those people,’’ Parr said.
“For them to give me the green light to ride in this race is fantastic and I hope I can repay their faith.’’
John Cornish, whose white with the red heart colours are synonymous with Torryburn Stud which he purchased in 2002, is of course the inaugural chairman of the Australian Turf Club.
Parr has an unbeaten record on Deploy having won at a night meeting at Canterbury on December 16 before reuniting to take out the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) in track record time at Rosehill.
That followed a track record at Randwick over the 1200m course of The Everest.
“He’s come a long way,’’ Parr said.
“When I let him down the other day he showed a really brilliant turn of foot. He possesses a turn of foot usually but not as brilliant as in the Theo Marks.
“When he let rip he really went, he lowered to the ground and took off which is a good horse’s trait.’’
Since the Theo Marks, trainer Gerald Ryan has worked to keep the gelding on the fresh side and he trialled alongside Everest runner Redzel on his home track last week.
Parr said he took a lot of confidence out of Deploy’s trial third placing and is excited about what’s ahead.
Few would realise that Parr copped a suspension out of his Golden Rose placing on Menari on the chin to make sure he could ride Deploy on Saturday and chase the $5.8 million first prize money.
“I was really happy with how he trialled, he didn’t have the blinkers on and I didn’t ask him for a maximum effort,’’ Parr said.
“Shortly after the line I was right up their backsides and trying to get him to idle back down.
“I elected to take my suspension immediately just so I could be back for this race. The anticipation has been remarkable.
“It’s given people a reason to talk about Sydney racing in the spring and we haven’t seen anything like this before. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.’’
Both Parr and Ryan are adamant Deploy doesn’t need to lead to win The Everest and Ryan is even more certain that he won’t be leading.
The five-year-old runs in the Everest for an unusual partnership, with rival Rosehill trainer Chris Waller selecting Deploy to run in his slot while Ryan trains.
Ryan said Deploy is simply flying at the moment and his will to win will take him a long way.
“When he broke the record at Randwick he sat behind the speed. I can’t picture Deploy leading the race, depending on where he draws he’ll be just behind the speed,’’ Ryan said.
“He’s done well out of the trial, swum and cantered around and did a bit of pacework on Saturday morning.
“He has fitness, toughness and he doesn’t know how to run a bad race. He’s a winner, he’s won his last six races on Sydney metropolitan tracks.’’