Big Parade begins spring march in the Missile Stakes

An incredible barrier trial performance has Group 1 placed sprinter Big Parade as the clear top seed amongst Joe Pride’s trio of Missile Stakes runners and the trainer is optimistic his new recruit can back it up with a win.

Inheriting Big Parade from Mark Newnham following the latter’s move to Hong Kong, Pride said any horse who won a barrier trial by almost 21 lengths, as Big Parade did in accounting for Wewillrock and top mare In Secret at Warwick Farm last week, had to be regarded as a serious threat first-up.

“It’s going to be well documented by Saturday about that trial, it was probably more than what he needed to do, but it hasn’t hurt him,” Pride said.

“He’d had three trials prior to that and he was ready for that. I think the others had the handbrake on, but it was good.

“When they trial like that, they should be winning.”

Big Parade has long been a talent but has battled issues throughout his career that have restricted him to just 18 starts.

He hasn’t raced since the autumn of last year when he was narrowly beaten by Shelby Sixtysix in the Group 1 Galaxy before placing behind Kementari in the Hall Mark Stakes.

The high-class sprinter will be one of two horses making their stable debuts for Pride in the Missile, along with former Victorian mare Argentia, a multiple Group winner looking to reignite her form after losing her way last preparation.

Dragonstone, another Newnham pick-up, rounds out the Warwick Farm trainer’s Missile Stakes (1200m) team, the gelding heading into the feature with the advantage of race fitness.

Renowned for his success with tried horses, including Eduardo who launched his career revival in the corresponding race three years ago, Pride is optimistic Big Parade, Argentia and Dragonstone can all do the stable proud on Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“They are two very interesting horses that haven’t started for me yet, and three new horses to the stable, Dragonstone obviously having had a couple of runs for me now.

“Argentia is an interesting mare. I’ve got a lot of time for her, I really like her.

“She has come up really well and I liked her two trials.

“He’s (Big Parade) probably the one for Saturday and I just want to see her running on and same for Dragonstone.”

Pride has won the Missile three times, twice with Rain Affair in 2011 and 2013, and most recently with Eduardo in 2020.

This year’s renewal has attracted a strong field headlined by Caulfield Guineas winner Golden Mile and his Godolphin stablemate and last-start Bletchingly Stakes winner Ingratiating.

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