Parnell Prince primed for Thames Gold Cup

Louise McGregor claimed the biggest win of her career on New Year’s Day and she will attempt a feature race double for owner Keith Parsons when Parnell Prince (NZ) lines up in the Thames Gold Cup on Saturday.

The Te Aroha trainer is fresh from winning the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final at Ellerslie on Tuesday with Oratorio (Ire) mare Grande Bellezza.

Parnell Prince (5g Keeper – Worldly Rose by Spinning World) will be seeking his third win for McGregor after transferring to her operation along with Grande Bellezza last June.

“We’ve had him for seven months now and we still haven’t really worked him out,” McGregor said.  “He has been a bit of a mystery but we do know for sure that he hates the whip so the key is not to hit him at any stage in a race.

“We have also spent plenty of time playing tricks and keeping his mind occupied so he won’t wind-suck, which has led to his better performances for us.  When he’s on he’s a pretty handy type and we have him fit and healthy for Saturday, so fingers crossed he can run up to his best.”

McGregor had pre-trained a number of horses for Parsons Bloodstock before receiving Grande Bellezza and Parnell Prince to prepare and is delighted with the success she has had for him with the two horses.

Parsons has business interests in the construction industry around the greater Waikato area through his company Hamilton Building Supplies.  “I think Keith likes the set-up we have here, which is a small operation where the horses get plenty of paddock time and he can drop in and see them when he is in town with his business,” said McGregor.

“Winning the Dunstan was like a dream come true and I’m still on a high as we were cheering halfway down the straight thinking she might run in the money, let alone win the race.”

McGregor had made the decision to miss the major summer racing carnivals with Parnell Prince to concentrate on some of the smaller features on the country circuit.  “He was going to Taupo but we switched our plans to Thames,” explained McGregor.  “I think the track will suit and as we are only a forty-minute float trip away it makes sense to send him there.”

Parnell Prince is by Cambridge Stud sire Keeper and was originally trained by Shaun Ritchie after making $42,5000 from Regal Farm at the 2009 NZB Ready to Run Sale.  His dam Worldly Rose is an unraced half-sister to Darwin Cup winner Wild Heart (Unbridled’s Song).