High profile Canberra trainer Matthew Dale has a good chance to win another $30,000 Parkes Services & Citizens Parkes Cup (1600 metres) when Top Ravine contests the feature event at the eight race TAB meeting on Sunday.
Dale has already won the Cup with Prince Warrior (2013) and Itchyzariz (2016), and finished third with Royal Jackpot in 2015.
A lightly raced galloper, Top Ravine (Brodie Loy) will handle the 1600 metres with ease as both wins to date from only 14 starts have been over 1700 metres and 1800 metres, respectively.
With rain about, it’s worth noting Top Ravine has been placed three times on heavy tracks.
Prior to a spell Top Ravine ran 4th in a big field at Sandown (Victoria) and since resuming, despite being unplaced, has run good races at Canterbury and Rosehill over unsuitable distances.
Sure to give supporters a great sight in the Cup is the Connie Greig, Dubbo trained Our Sarastro, winner of seven races and more importantly, five of those wins have been over the 1600 metres Parkes Cup distance.
A noted frontrunner, Our Sarastro goes extra well for the talented Dubbo based apprentice Chris Williams and after finishing 4th in the Gilgandra Cup to Lancelot and third to Uncle Sugar in the Cowra Cup, Our Sarastro resumed from a break to win over 1300 metres at Dubbo as a $26 outsider.
Final tuneup for the Parkes Cup was a runaway barrier trial win at Coonamble last Saturday.
Getting back to form after several runs since a spell, the George Wright, Parkes trained Emerald Fortune could spring a surprise having been placed on heavy tracks and has won over 1600 metres.
Two starts back Emerald Fortune was a good 4th in the Diggers Cup at Narromine won by Maybegrey.
Leucura, from the Chris Heywood stable at Wagga Wagga, is a very smart sprinter and although untested over 1600 metres has won three times on heavy tracks and does have the services of top jockey Greg Ryan.
Meanwhile, in the $25,000 Parkes Services & Citizens Satellite Handicap (1200 metres) the Kenneth Parsons, Cowra trained Heza Thief (Andrew Banks) will attempt to win the race again having beaten Infinite Bliss and Trents Quest last year.
Heza Thief has the impressive record of six wins and five placings from 14 starts and is a last start winner at Mudgee from Don't Tell Linda and Dunderry.
Dangers to Heza Thief include Richard The First, She Zar, Prattler and Sky Mission.
Racing starts at 12.15pm.
Race 1 - 12:15pm Tony’s Windscreens Maiden Plate (1400m).
Race 2 - 12:55pm Tony’s Windscreens Benchmark 65 Handicap (1300m).
Race 3 - 1:35pm Parkes Telescope Tyres & Batteries Maiden Handicap (1000m).
Race 4 - 2:10pm Happy 40th Birthday Bugman Benchmark 55 Handicap (1000m).
Race 5 - 2:45pm Parkes Services Club Satellite Handicap (1200m).
Race 6 - 3:20pm Parkview Motor Inn Class 2 Plate (1200m).
Race 7 - 4pm Parkes Services Club Parkes Cup (1600m).
Race 8 - 4:35pm Parkes Telescope Tyres & Batteries Class 2 Handicap (1600m).
Races 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8: of $20,000.1st $11,200, 2nd $3,775, 3rd $1,890, 4th $900, 5th $535, 6th $300, 7th $300, 8th $300, 9th $300, 10th $300, Equine Welfare Fund $200.
Race 5: of $25,000.1st $13,925, 2nd $4,875, 3rd $2,450, 4th $1,125, 5th $625, 6th $350, 7th $350, 8th $350, 9th $350, 10th $350, Equine Welfare Fund $250.
Race 7: of Of $30,000.1st $16,800, 2nd $5,850, 3rd $2,950, 4th $1,400, 5th $700, 6th $400, 7th $400, 8th $400, 9th $400, 10th $400, Equine Welfare Fund $300.