Hall of Fame trainer Neville Parnham is banking on Malibu Style’s impressive Flemington straight record to hold him in good stead for tomorrow’s Listed Absolut Stakes (1000m), one of the feature events on the third day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
The gelding put in a credible first-up performance when fourth to Eduardo in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) on October 20.
Malibu Style returns to Flemington tomorrow though, where he has won two times and placed two times from his nine starts down the straight.
Parnham’s son Chris takes the ride on the seven-year-old tomorrow, after he guided him to victory over 1100m in June.
Parnham said tomorrow’s Listed event was the right race for Malibu Style.
“They were too quick for him around the bend first-up at Caulfield,” he said.
“We felt this race, under set weights and penalties conditions, as well as his good record over 1000m down the straight, was the right race for him.
“He’s drawn out, which on a wearing track is probably better.”
Parnham flew to Melbourne to watch Malibu Style work on Monday, before he returned for yesterday’s Ascot meeting and is now back in Melbourne.
He said he expected the Flemington track to start in the soft range tomorrow and indicated an upgrade could come prior to the Absolut Stakes.
Malibu Style is a $16 chance with TABtouch, with the market headed up by Super Cash ($3.90), Kapernic ($5.50) and Illustrious Lad ($7.50).
However, Parnham said it was an outsider which had him concerned tomorrow.
“A horse like Fell Swoop is very talented,” he said.
“It’s a very evenly bunched field though.
“They’re all in the same category where they’re probably not quite at the top level for Saturday’s race (VRC Sprint Classic).”
Meanwhile, Parnham will return to Perth after tomorrow’s meeting to saddle up Platoon in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Platoon was beaten a length by Arcadia Queen last start and is likely to have his work cut out from barrier 14 on Saturday.
Parnham said the three-year-old would need plenty of luck in the $100,000 event and expected the run on Saturday to round out his WA Guineas preparations nicely.
“It’s a high class race,” he said.
“I think Platoon is a better three-year-old than he was a two-year-old.
“He galloped well on Tuesday, but he’s still not fully screwed down like he will be in the Guineas.
“He might have to go back and try to pick a path through the field.”
Malibu Style will look to record his second Listed race win in Melbourne at 12.35 Perth time tomorrow afternoon.