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Parnham not ruling out Roma Cup upset

He may have produced an underwhelming first-up performance at Northam and lost his regular jockey, but Indian Pacific still has a fighting chance in tomorrow’s PKF-Roma Cup (1200m) at Belmont, according to trainer Neville Parnham.

Indian Pacific finished more than four lengths behind Elite Street in the Group 3 Northam Mazda Stakes (1100m), after he sat outside race leader Mervyn.

The disappointing performance prompted regular jockey Brad Parnham to team up with Marjorie Charleson Classic (1200m) and Sheila Gwynne Classic (1400m) winner Amasenus.

Joseph Azzopardi teams up with the son of Zoustar for the first time and will start from barrier seven in the star-studded line up.

Parnham said he wouldn't make excuses for Indian Pacific's first-up performance, but is confident he would improve in tomorrow's $200,000 event.

"Both Brad and I were of the opinion that he just wouldn't let go on that firm track that he was on," Parnham told TABradio.

"He's pulled up sound and he's happy.

"He will be better for the run, there's no question of that."

Indian Pacific is expected to be aided by the absence of Mervyn tomorrow afternoon and Parnham was confident his star sprinter would find the front.

Elite Street is a commanding $2.45 favourite with TABtouch for the Group 3 feature, ahead of Red Can Man ($6) and Amasenus ($9).

Indian Pacific has had some support and is rated a $15 chance.

Parnham is also confident he can start the Belmont meeting on a high note with Miss Drakova in the Free Entry To Belmont Park Plate (1400m).

The two-year-old finished third to Tiffany Street over 5 1⁄2 f at Ascot last Saturday and Parnham said the effort gave him plenty to look forward to when the filly steps up in distance tomorrow.

"She was a huge run last week," he said.

"She stuck to her guns after a bit of a tough run and she's done well since that run.

"She will sit just behind the leaders and I'm sure she will have a good turn-of-foot at the end of it."

Tomorrow's Belmont meeting gets underway at 12.04pm, with the Roma Cup to jump at 4.20pm.


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