Playing God’s 3yo team for the Ascot carnival received a timely reinforcement when the Neville Parnham-trained Zipaway made a winning return from a spell at Belmont on Saturday.
Parnham had prepared Playing God to a first-up victory as a 3yo at Belmont in 2010 before graduating to black-type breakthrough in the G2 WA Guineas (1600m).
“Zipaway has feature-race potential,” Parnham predicted after the Perth Racing Hiring Staff Plate (1200m). “I was reasonably confident he would run well. He tightened up after galloping on Tuesday morning and the plan was to ride him off the pace today.
“He’s still maturing mentally but he’s tough and it looks like a mile will be his best distance. He won’t race again until Ascot leading up to the WA Guineas.”
Winning jockey Steven Parnham, who also partnered Playing God, was aboard Zipaway in all three outings at Ascot last season. He was placed behind Alotofbanter and Wiley Girl on either side of a fourth in the LR Supremacy Stakes (1000m) during a three-week period in March.
“I was happy with his trial here last week without blinkers,” Parnham said. “He was a bit casual but he got stuck in with them back on today. He still learning and was a bit green but he felt good.”
The Parnhams bred Zipaway and race him with former Vice-Chair of Perth Racing Paula Sullivan. His dam Boutique was runner-up six times at Ascot and finally won her maiden at Bunbury over 2000m.
Boutique was bred by Ellie Giles and is a half-sister to Group 2 winners Red Can Man and Quilista. She’s also a half-sister to last week’s Northam debut winner Insyde Success (War Chant).