Parker pins hopes on little Lad's first time

HORSE RACING

His reputation has been built on stayers and nursing injured horses back to their peak, but Kerry Parker has now found an early-running two-year-old to chase racing's juvenile riches.

That's where Lad About Town comes into play - and there's 250,000 reasons to throw him into the deep end of a high pressure Inglis Nursery (1000 metres) at Warwick Farm tomorrow.

While Parker's Group-performed headline horses Brilliant Light, Nextanix and Aliyana Tilde battle various ailments, Lad About Town is at the other end of the spectrum.

The unraced Strategic gelding was a budget proposition when shuffled through a sale ring as a yearling.

Out of unraced Redoute's Choice mare Inoseyou, Parker and good friend Colin Branthwaite were only stretched to $14,000 to take the gelding home.

Branthwaite runs an agistment farm where most of Parker's horses spell on the outskirts of Sydney.

And now they have a horse with every chance of figuring in the $250,000 scamper, which will feature nine two-year-olds without racetrack experience.

"It's a quarter-of-a-million dollar race and most of them are first-starters - you could nearly run into a race like this anywhere," Parker said on Inoseyou's first live foal.

"We don't have many [two-year-olds].

"I bought three last year that I thought might make two-year-olds. The other two have gone shin sore, which means they will just be out and back again," he said.

"[But] this fella has made it to the race so far and he's the first one to step out. By a speed sire in Strategic he looked like he was a chance of galloping and racing early. I suppose here he is."

Lad About Town pleased when running third in a Kembla Grange barrier trial last month, said Parker.

It suggests he can be competitive tomorrow - particularly with the services of Golden Slipper-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy.

But Parker suggested Lad About Town won't be at his peak until another Inglis juvenile dash next month.

"He's still not fully wound up," he said. "He'll improve from what he does on Saturday, but his main aim is the race on the 19th of January in the Inglis Classic race."

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