Think It Over fresh for second-up tilt in Chelmsford Stakes

Kerry Parker is constantly trying to keep one step ahead of Think It Over as he manages his comeback from a tendon injury, including ensuring the grand campaigner remains mentally and physically fresh for his second-up run in the Chelmsford Stakes.

Mindful horses can sprint well off a long break only to race flat next time out, Parker has given Think It Over a light load since his encouraging return in the Winx Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago.

“I did have him nice and forward first-up, so I am hoping we get through his second-up run really well. There’s no indication that he won’t, but a lot of times there isn’t,” Parker said.

“It is on my mind that he’s second-up, so I’ve given him a cruisy couple of weeks leading into this.

“He’s fit and well, so fingers crossed we don’t get that second-up syndrome. I have hopefully prepared him so he doesn’t.”

Think It Over suffered a tendon injury following his epic 2022 Queen Elizabeth Stakes triumph and was off the scene for 16 months.

His Winx Stakes return was a nervous watch for Parker but the eight-year-old showed he had retained his zest for racing, and his ability to compete at the highest level, with a fine sixth to Fangirl.

Most importantly, he came through it without issue.

“He pulled up terrific from that first-up run,” Parker said.

“It was a matter of ticking those boxes to know that he was back – to suggest that he wanted to be back and at that level, and of course that he pulled up sound.

“So he ticked all the boxes that we needed ticked there first-up.”

Interestingly, Think It Over also finished sixth in the 2021 Winx Stakes before winning the Chelmsford second-up and while the circumstances are different this year, Parker hopes history can repeat.

“He’s just coming off a long lay-off this time, but he’s been there and done that and off his first-up run, if he can produce anywhere near that, he’s going to be in the finish again,” he said.

In a big day for Parker’s small provincial stable,Hope In Your Heart also heads to Randwick on Saturday to resume in the Tramway Stakes (1400m), en route to her Epsom Handicap goal.

While her three Group wins have been in mares’ grade, including in the Guy Walter Stakes over the Randwick 1400m course first-up last preparation, she has shown she can mix it in open company with barnstorming fourths in the Golden Eagle and Doncaster Mile.

“You look at these big races where she didn’t have a lot of luck go her way, like the Golden Eagle on that firm track when she didn’t have anything run her into the race and she had to do it on her own,” Parker said.

“She has run in some high-quality races and not finished far from them.

“This is a proper race she’s in here in the Tramway, but I suspect she’ll turn up and race really well.

“Although she does get back a bit in her races, so you always need that extra bit of luck on her side.”

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