The 7 Stakes 2023 a fork in the road for WFA star

Kerry Parker is set to implement the final stage of his initial three-part plan for comeback galloper Think It Over before committing to the horse’s path for the remainder of the spring.

The 2022 Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner will make his next appearance in Saturday’s $1 million 7 Stakes (1600m) at Randwick after two encouraging runs, the latest when hitting the line strongly for third to Navajo Peak in the Chelmsford Stakes over the Randwick mile.

That followed a solid first-up sixth in the Winx Stakes (1400m), Think It Over’s first start in 16 months, and Parker has taken heart from both performances.

“That was a bit more of a tough test,” Parker said of the horse’s Chelmsford assignment.

“There was a lot of tempo early, but he didn’t shirk the task and he was honest all the way to the line. I’m sure that will bring him on a bit more.

“His two runs back have been a credit to him and let us know he’s back at this level.”

In a bid to lay a strong foundation of fitness and confidence, the next stage of Parker’s plan is Saturday’s 7 Stakes and Think It Over’s performance there will determine the trainer’s next move.

The horse is among entries for the Cox Plate (2040m), while a race like the $5 million King Charles III Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Everest day could also be on the radar.

“He will probably go around in the 7 Stakes,” Parker said.

“That was our plan from the start to give him these first three runs fortnightly apart and then we’ll know where he’s at.

“But to me, he’s come back terrific and he’s in great order.”

Parker will also nominate Hope In Your Heart for the 7 Stakes, while Winx Stakes winner Fangirl and her Chris Waller-trained stablemate Hinged are set to run, that pair tuning up for next weekend with a 1000m exhibition gallop at Rosehill on Saturday.

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