Chris Parnham is only 23-years-old but, for him, his maiden group one win was still a long time coming.
“I started riding when I was 15 so, yeah, I feel like I’ve been around forever … For my age I have ridden in a lot of group ones, over 40,” Parnham told racing.com.
“It’s a bit surreal to be honest. It’s taken a while to get to that day, but now it’s here, I can’t believe it.”
Parnham piloted the Grant and Alana Williams trained Truly Great ($18) to victory in the Kingston Town Classic at Ascot on Saturday, upsetting stablemate Inspirational Girl.
“All the hype was around Inspirational Girl, and she deserved the hype because she won the Railway (stakes) so impressively,” he said.
“If she drew my gate and I drew her gate it probably would have changed the result, but he (Truly Great) is a good horse on his day.”
The son of a jockey-turned-trainer, Neville, Chris is one of three brothers in the WA riding ranks and second to win at the top level; eldest brother Steven has done it four times.
It would be fair to say, Chris wasn’t expecting to join big bro as a G1 winner yesterday. His confidence levels, out of 10, were not high.
“Of actually winning the race, probably a two,” Parnham joked.
“They are just so hard to win so you can’t go in being too confident.”
The victory capped a monster afternoon for the younger Parnham.
A short time earlier he did what no other jockey has been able to for more than two years, steering much-maligned Godolphin galloper, Kementari, to a win.
“To be honest, the win on Kementari was probably my biggest thrill of the season until 40 minutes later when I won the group one, so I had a pretty good hour.”