Kerry Parker hoping locals can shine at Kembla Grange

He might not have a starter in the feature race but there is no doubting where the allegiances of trainer Kerry Parker lay ahead of the $1 million From The Gong at his home track of Kembla Grange.

Parker, who enjoyed a fruitful spring carnival in Sydney with stable star Think It Over, says the local build up to the showcase meeting has been tremendous and he will be cheering for fellow Kembla trainers Robert and Luke Price to land the major spoils with Count De Rupee.

“It’s terrific to have a meeting like this here,” Parker said.

“It’s hard for us to have runners as it’s Saturday grade no matter where you go, but it’s good there are a few locals going to be in there and hopefully the ‘Priceys’ can knock off the big one.”

Parker will have a presence at Kembla with Tampering set to back-up from his victory at Newcastle last weekend to contest the opening 2000 metre race, while Don Luigi tackles the Canadian Club Handicap (1000m).

Tampering has been given an easy week and while he is yet to win beyond a mile, he has been placed up to 1900 metre and has finished fourth in three of his five starts over the 2000 metre journey.

Parker believes Saturday is the right time to again test him over a middle-distance

“Now he’s out of those Midways, he’s probably got to step up to be competitive in Sydney and if he runs a trip, it will definitely help him,” Parker said.

“He has run well over this sort of trip before and now he seems to be in a really good frame of mind and doing everything right, I think he gets his chance here on his home track.”

Parker is expecting an improved performance from Don Luigi after he raced erratically when stepped up to 1200 metres last start.

The horse has since trialled well and Parker says he will be much better suited back to 1000 metres and in a race with a genuine tempo.

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