New Zealand-bred four-year-old Parmesan will reappear after a three-month absence when he starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2536m In The Gig On Sky Racing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
He is a first-up specialist, having been successful each time at his first appearance in a race at his first three preparations.
A winner at 14 of his 25 starts, Parmesan will be handled by star reinsman Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who have prepared 54 winners this season and hold the lead in the State’s trainers’ premiership six ahead of Gary Hall Snr and 16 in front of Aiden de Campo.
Parmesan is a versatile performer who has won eight times after setting the pace. His main danger is likely to be the Chris Willis-trained mare Blissfullabbey, who will start from barrier two.
Blissfullabbey has resumed after a spell in good form with fourths behind Weewah and Jaspervellabeach, followed by an impressive second in fast time to smart mare Heavens Showgirl last Friday night when she trailed the pacemaker Suing You before running home determinedly.
Weewah, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old mare and a stablemate of Parmesan, also will have admirers. She has won twice from her past four starts and is capable of unwinding a spirited finishing burst. She will be driven for the first time in a race by Colin Brown, with Warwick, in the sulky for ten of Weewah’s 13 wins, choosing to handle Parmesan.
An interesting runner in the final event, the 2536m Sky Racing Pace, is the polemarker Sagano, a winner at five of her 23 starts, making her third appearance in Western Australia.
Sagano, to be driven by Warwick for the powerful Bond stable, has failed to flatter with unplaced efforts at her first two WA starts. But her New Zealand form suggests she is capable of fighting out the finish of Friday night’s event in which the Michael Young-trained Plutonium should relish a drop in class.