A winning treble at today’s Wellington meeting took jockey Johnathan Parkes to 101 wins since August 1, the third time he has reached the magical 100 wins in a season.
Parkes, 30, started the meeting on 98 wins but was instantly in the winner’s stall after guiding the talented filly Burgundy Belle to victory in the opening event and then took out the last two races on the programme, aboard Shez Ekstra and Whatsup.
Parkes chalked up 118 wins in the 2014-14 season, his best ever tally, and also brought up 102 wins the following season. He is presently second on this season’s premiership behind Lisa Allpress, who is on 109.
Burgundy Belle made it three wins from five starts when successful in the Crown Prosecutor Cup (1400m), also providing Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards with his 92nd win of the season.
The daughter of Burgundy had been in the reckoning for last week’s Group 3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), but connections took a patient approach with the three-year-old and were rewarded with a 3-1/4 length success on the heavy10 Trentham surface.
“We thought she was going well enough to be competitive in the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes, but John Galvin (of Fortuna Syndications) and I had a good talk after she drew badly and he was happy to wait for this race,” Richards said.
“It looked ideal because she can handle heavy ground and we’d been pleased with her work.
“We left the blinkers off when resuming at Te Rapa, and left them off when getting up to 1400 metres today and we’ll look to stretch her a little bit in distance
“She’s an exciting filly and there certainly looks to be more wins in her.”
Parkes was also of the opinion that Burgundy Belle has a bright future.
“I actually didn’t want to be as handy as what I was, but we were posted a bit wide early and she wanted to get on with the job, so I let her roll forward and she was simply too good,” Parkes said.
“She’s a progressive filly and will carry on with the job.”
Burgundy Belle is out of the Group 2 winner Spin ‘N Grin and is a product that Te Akau principal David Ellis had a strong hand in producing.
“I bought Spin ‘N Grin as a yearling for $65,000 out of the Premier Sale at Karaka, and Mark (Walker) trained her for Tom and Sue Roper,” Ellis said.
“I took her over to breed from and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) and I actually bred this filly. We sold her at the sales to John Galvin and she looks like another stakes quality filly like Windborne and Darci’s Dream that I bred and John’s Fortuna Syndicate owners have raced.
“This filly is the fifth individual winner from Spin ‘N Grin and we’ve got a really classy Burgundy yearling colt at home from the mare that we’ve kept to race, and she’s back in foal to Darci Brahma.”
Shez Ekstra’s win today was only in a maiden 1600m race but the three-year-old Ekraar filly also looks to have a bright future after her decisive 1-1/2 length victory.
Parkes settled the filly back in the early stages before improving around the field coming to the home turn and she finished strongly down the outside to comfortably beat Relda.
Shez Ekstra, who is trained by the Hastings partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, was having her ninth start and the heavy track and addition of blinkers assisted in the win.
“The track played into our hands and the blinkers sharpened her up a bit,” co-trainer Grant Cullen said.
“She’s a promising filly and the further she goes the better she’ll go.”