Princely run confirms spare-the-rod theory

PHILLIP QUAY
Last updated 12:33 06/01/2013
Danielle Johnson and Parnell Prince
BEN CURRAN/Fairfax NZ
OUT IN FRONT: Danielle Johnson and Parnell Prince take out the Thames Cup, ahead of Captain Marvell.

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A wink from Parnell Prince at Te Aroha trainer Louise McGregor proved to be as good as a nod to his chances of winning yesterday's $25,000 Lockwood Thames Gold Cup at Thames.

"There are always some signs on raceday if he is going to go well and he showed those this morning. He gave me a wink which showed he was dead right," McGregor said.

"He has his share of idiosyncrasies and every day is a challenge with him. But I expected him to go very well today and him winning has capped a great week for me."

McGregor scored the most important win of her training career at Ellerslie last Tuesday when she saddled up Grande Bellezza to win the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final.

Grande Bellezza and Parnell Prince both transferred to McGregor's stable last June.

Parnell Prince, who has won four of his eight starts for McGregor, has not been easy to figure out.

"We have had him for seven months now and still haven't really worked him out," she said.

"He has been a bit of a mystery horse but we do know he does hate the whip so the key is not to hit him at any stage of the race."

McGregor had pre-trained a number of horses for owner Keith Parsons before receiving Parnell Prince and Grande Bellezza to train and is delighted at the results she has managed with the pair.

"I think Keith likes the training setup we have," McGregor said.

"It is only a small operation where the horses get plenty of paddock time and he can drop in and see them any time he is in town with his business.

After yesterday's win McGregor is now considering a start for Parnell Prince in the Group I Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on January 26.

In-form jockey Danielle Johnson said Parnell Prince settled nicely in yesterday's race.

"I popped him out three wide and he kicked very strongly in the home straight and was far too good for them," Johnson said. "He fought very well to the line."

Johnson was also successful aboard Wake The Guru.

Captain Marvell finished second ahead of Natsinga.

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