Parnham with three Caulfield runnersFriday 22 September 2017
Neville Parnham will wait until race day to decide on tactics for Ellicazoom who makes her spring return from a wide barrier in the Group Three How Now Stakes at Caulfield.
Ellicazoom is one of three runners on Saturday's program for Parnham, including Listed Testa Rossa Stakes hopeful Malibu Style who the Perth trainer expects will show his best form after running slightly below expectations first-up.
Ellicazoom was narrowly beaten in two Group Two races for fillies in Melbourne last campaign before being spelled after failing in the Alexandra Stakes in March.
The four-year-old has barrier 13 on Saturday and Parnham says they will look at the pattern of the day before deciding on tactics.
Parnham believes Ellicazoom is in for a good preparation but will be happy with a top five finish from the awkward draw.
"She has come back really well," Parnham said.
Ellicazoom will be given her chance to earn a crack at the Group One Myer Classic (1600m).
"The pinnacle would be the Myer Classic if she looked like she was going to measure up," Parnham said.
Malibu Style won this year's Bel Esprit Stakes during his previous Melbourne campaign and resumed this preparation in the Group Three The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield, finishing sixth to Voodoo Lad on September 2.
Parnham said the gelding wasn't suited that day under the set weights plus penalties conditions against the likes of Voodoo Lad and Sheidel but admitted he probably expected a little better.
"He has improved dramatically from that run," Parnham said.
"His work this week has been at his best. Under handicap conditions I'm expecting him to find his form tomorrow from a good draw.
A major stumbling block in the 1200m race could be former Japanese horse Brave Smash who is odds-on favourite.
"It's going to be pretty hard to beat a horse like him, but I'm confident our horse will give a good performance," Parnham said.
Parnham said Saturday's Inglis Supports Riding For The Disabled Association Victoria Plate (1400m) would probably be Vital Importance's swan song before she is retired to the broodmare barn, having won 10 of her 51 starts to date and more than $560,000 prize money.