Playing God 3yo Sky Duke jumped straight to the front for Brad Parnham at Belmont on Saturday and found just enough to hold out Givemeonereason (Magnus) in a tight finish to the TABtouch Hcp (1000m).

“I wasn’t prepared to go the early crow although I did think there may have been a margin,” trainer Neville Parnham said.  “He worked super on Tuesday morning but I wanted to see him do it on raceday first.”

Sky Duke had won twice over 1200m at Belmont last year and he was runner-up to Goddess Of Giving (Playing God) in the $125,000 Westspeed Platinum Sires Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in December.  He was racing third-up after a spell on Saturday, however, Parnham held concerns following a last-start failure on May 6.

“He was quite plain that day but pulled up with a foot issue so that could have been the reason.  Brad thought there was a lot of speed in the race today and he was prepared to take a trail.  But the horse was fresh and Brad said he was in control and knuckled down under 60kg.”

Sky Duke cost $90,000 from Willaview Park at the 2021 Perth Magic Millions and he carries the Playing God – Oratorio cross which has a 71% success-rate led by Stakes winners Bustler, Platoon and Ex Sport Man.  “I liked him on type as a yearling and he’s by Playing God from a good family,” Parnham continued.  “He’s not overly big but neither are many of his relations.”

His dam Peggie’s Princess (Oratorio) an unraced daughter of Peggie’s Dream (Ihtiram) who is a full-sister to 2007 Australian Racehorse of the Year Miss Andretti.  She is owned by Jan Williamson and foaled an A Lot (USA) filly on July 30 last year before an early-season cover to Playing God in September.