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  • Provincial Racing NSW


KERRY Parker has resorted to Hope In Your Heart facing her biggest challenge at Royal Randwick on Saturday without blinkers.

The Kembla Grange trainer starts both Hope In Your Heart (Jason Collett) and comeback champ Think It Over (Nash Rawiller) in the $5m Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m) – an outstanding achievement for his boutique stable.

Parker experimented with blinkers on Hope In Your Heart in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 30, and not having any luck, the mare ran an excellent sixth (beaten less than two lengths) to Rediener.

“Hope In Your Heart has a tendency to hit a flat spot in her races, but that’s just her,” Parker said.

“We’ll revert to racing her without the blinkers. She has drawn an outside barrier (14 in a field of 16) and we’ll go back and ride her cold.”

Parker won last year’s Angst Stakes over the King Charles course with the mare 12 months ago, and could have chased another victory in that race against her own sex instead of lining up in the rich weight-for-age contest with her stablemate.

“I believe Hope In Your Heart will be very competitive and can earn more prizemoney finishing in the top end than she would in the Angst (which has a total purse of $250,000),” he said.

“She deserves her chance in a race such as the King Charles.”

Parker is rapt with last year’s $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes victor Think It Over, who capped a stunning comeback from a serious tendon injury by taking the $1m 7 Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 16 at his third run back.

“He is absolutely thriving, and in really good order,” Parker said.

“I just get him ready, and he goes out and does what he always does (gives his best).

A King Charles triumph would soar Think It Over’s earnings beyond a staggering $10m, having already collected $7.76m.

Whilst Hope In Your Heart is a $34 chance with, Think It Over surprisingly is at $13, yet the two horses he beat in the 7 Stakes - Zaaki ($9) and Fangirl ($7) – are priced above him.

The Kembla Grange stablemates will head in different directions after Saturday.

Think It Over’s next target is the $5m Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28, whereas Hope In Your Heart will remain at home.

“She will stay here and run in The Five Diamonds at Rosehill Gardens on November 11,” Parker said.

As the name indicates, the Five Diamonds (1800m) is restricted to five-year-olds, and run at set weights plus, and boasts a $2m purse, with $1.155m going to the winner.

. Provincial trainers are represented in eight of the 10 races at The Everest meeting at Randwick.

They are:

RACE 1: Kalapour, Cleveland (Kris Lees), Raging Bull (Mark Minervini), Apache Belle (Wayne Seelin), and Torrens (Marc Chevalier);

RACE 2: Camaguey (Kim Waugh);

RACE 3: Kind Words (Kris Lees);

RACE 4: Long Genes (Ed Cummings);

RACE 6: Rustic Steel and Inver Park (Kris Lees);

RACE 8: Strait Acer (Ed Cummings) and Razeta (Kris Lees);

RACE 9: Think It Over and Hope In Your Heart (Kerry Parker);

RACE 10: Amokura (Kris Lees), Arts (Ed Cummings), Ausbred Flirt (Brad Widdup), and Premise (John O’Shea, Hawkesbury stable).

*Story John Curtis, October 12, 2023 - Pics Steve Hart*

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