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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: April 20, 2023: JOCKEY of the moment Josh Parr holds a unique record at Hawkesbury’s stand-alone meeting.

Being the only jockey to have won all four black type highlights at the annual fixture, he is understandably keen to build on that statistic when he heads there on Saturday for the 18th renewal of the now firmly established metropolitan program.

Spurred on by winning the inaugural $4m The Quokka at Perth’s Ascot track last Saturday on Sydney sprinter Overpass, Parr has bookings in the feature quartet.

He rides Malkovich in the $160,000 Listed Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush (1100m), Kote in the $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m), Tycoon Evie in the $200,000 Group 3 Pioneer Services Hawkesbury Crown (1300m), and Just Folk in the $2009,000 Group 3 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).

Parr has won the Crown three times (on Serenissima in 2010, Pecans and Irithea in 2018 and 19 respectively), the Guineas on Sambrio (2018), Gold Cup on Archedemus (2021), and Gold Rush on Tactical Advantage in 2020 when the meeting was transferred to Rosehill Gardens.

He is especially looking forward to riding for the first time Victorian visitor Just Folk in the Gold Cup.

“I have to thank my manager Tye Angland for getting me the mount,” Parr said today when discussing his Hawkesbury prospects in the major races.

“Just Folk has good form, has run well at both starts this campaign in strong races and is now third-up and proven on wet ground.

“I feel he has a great chance of giving me my second Hawkesbury Cup success.”

Bendigo-trained Just Folk has won twice on soft ground and three from five (including the Group 2 Ajax Stakes, 1500m at Rosehill 13 months ago, defeating Ellsberg) when it becomes heavy.

He ran fourth to Scallopini in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue (1400m) at Flemington on March 11, and then filled the same position behind Here To Shock in the Listed Golden Mile at home on April 1.

Just Folk also ran second to this year’s Australian Cup winner Cascadian in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick last October.

Parr was runner-up on Overpass’ stablemate Malkovich in last year’s Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush, and is out to go one better this year.

“I was pretty confident Malkovich would be hard to beat last year, and I’m feeling similar again,” Parr said.

“He has been gelded, and as a result has trimmed down and is now more athletic.

“Malkovich has won both his recent trials (at Warwick Farm on March 31 and April 14) and is ready to go.”

Parr has previously won the Hawkesbury Crown for Peter Snowden (on Serenissima), and partners Tycoon Evie for the successful Randwick trainer, who now co-trains with son Paul.

Former Queenslander Tycoon Evie won six metropolitan races in Brisbane, including the Group 3 Pam O’Neill (1600m) at Doomben last July on soft ground, and ran second (promoted from third after suffering interference close to the finish) in the Group 3 Wenona Girl (1200m) at Randwick in early March.

Tycoon Evie has since been placed in a 1080m trial on the Randwick synthetic track on April 3.

Parr also for the first time rides Kote in the Hawkesbury Guineas, and says there is no question about the three-year-old’s ability.

“It’s a matter of getting him in the right mindset on the day,” he said.

“Kote is coming back to a Group 3 from being beaten only three lengths by Aft Cabin in the Group 2 Arrowfield (1200m) at Randwick a fortnight ago during The Championships, and he has won on both soft and heavy ground.”’

. Newcastle trainer Sam Kavanagh has decided in favour of the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) for Aramayo rather than tomorrow’s $200,000 Big Dance Eligibility Tamworth Cup Showcase (1400m).

He has booked Hawkesbury local Grant Buckley for the Cup mount.

. The rail is in the TRUE position for Saturday’s meeting, and as at 3pm today only 1mm of rain had been recorded during the day after 3.5mm in the previous 24 hours, and a “Soft 5” rating was retained by course manager Rick Johnston.

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