John and Karen Parsons are becoming accustomed to plundering northern spoils of late and the Balcairn trainers will attempt to do the same at Ellerslie on Saturday. The Canterbury conditioners won the Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) with Camino Rocoso a fortnight ago and the Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) with Kiwi Ida last month and will target the Group 2 Westbury Classic (1400m) with the latter this weekend.
Karen Parsons has been delighted with the stable’s recent success in the north and paid tribute to her hard-working staff at home. “I thought those days were over (campaigning in the north),” she said. “I am 70 and I am just about buggered now. We wouldn’t be able to do it without our foreman Vicky Ramhit, he is the mainstay at our stables, he is first-class.”
While pleased with Kiwi Ida’s last start victory at Awapuni, Parsons is cautious heading into Saturday with the daughter of Squasmosa not travelling as well this time north. “She hasn’t settled as well this time as she did last time,” Parsons said. “We are so far up now and John just said to stay here at Sylvia Kay’s. “We have settled here, she went to the track at Levin yesterday (Thursday) morning and worked well, so we will just trundle up today.”
Owned by the Parsons, Kiwi Ida has become a stable favourite and they are hoping she can add another Group win to her tally this weekend. “About 80 percent of the horses we race are our own horses and we couldn’t do it without a Kiwi Ida,” Parsons said. “From two to five she has only run out of the money five times in her entire career, she has been marvelous.
“She is a great mare to have, nothing worries her and she is a lovely mare to train. She is just so easy, she settles everywhere and you can put anyone on to ride her.”
While Parsons will be at Ellerslie on Saturday cheering home Kiwi Ida, she will be keeping a close eye on Riccarton where the stable will have 10 runners, including Shezatoucha in the Christchurch Casino Dunedin Gold Cup Trial (2000m).
Shezatoucha heads into Saturday off the back of a runner-up performance to stablemate Camino Rocoso in the Waikouaiti Cup (1975m) on New Year’s Day, with that form being franked by Camino Rocoso’s Trentham Stakes victory. “She is pretty well placed, so hopefully she goes alright on Saturday,” Parsons said. “I was told that it was impossible to beat Camino Rocosso on the times that he ran. It was a good run.”
Meanwhile, Camino Rocoso has returned south since his Trentham victory in preparation for more northern black-type targets next month. “He has been good as gold since Trentham. We are going to pay the late entry and run him in the Herbie Dyke (Group 1, 2000m). “He has gone home, he doesn’t like it up here. He hates it at the track, he is back as a beachcomber, he likes the beach.”