Parker to protect his Lad

INGLIS CLASSIC

Kerry Parker doesn't have many two-year-olds - which is why he's not even contemplating an autumn campaign with one-time "naughty horse" Lad About Town if he runs well in the Inglis Classic (1200m) at Rosehill today.

Just like the searing temperature engulfing most of the state, the action on the track is also heating up with the $250,000 restricted race signalling the start of the build-up to the Golden Slipper.

But Kembla Grange horseman Parker is wary of scalding Lad About Town after the Inglis Classic, long thought of as the horse's grand final.

When asked what the Strategic two-year-old had to do to warrant further autumn targets, Parker said: "He'll go to the paddock - I'm not worried about the autumn.

"He's going to mature into a nice horse so it's no good busting him now. I don't have many - I've got to look after them."

If bookmakers are to be believed, Parker won't have the conundrum of whether to press on with Lad About Town after a strong Inglis Classic effort.

The $14,000 yearling purchase was $101 in fixed odds betting with the TAB last night.

But Parker warned Lad About Town had improved from an interference-marred effort on debut, when beaten almost 10 lengths by Twilight Royale in the Inglis Nursery before Christmas.

"What didn't help him was that he got squeezed out at the start so it was hard to get a proper guide on him," he said.

"He should have been running fifth or sixth instead of running last or second last. I thought he balanced up and found the line really nice.

"Things have got to go right for them in those two-year-old races and he was still learning.

"I'm sure he's learnt a lot from that first outing and if he can get luck and be put into the race a bit earlier this time it might help them."

The ace up Parker's sleeve just might be the addition of blinkers, which Lad About Town will race in for the first time under veteran hoop Rod Quinn.

"He actually had them on when he first came in as a baby," Parker said. "He was a bit of a naughty horse so he has worn them a bit and seems to have adapted to them well."

Inglis Nursery runner-up Fuerza headed betting last night at $3.10 ahead of Kris Lees' promising Devil In A Dress at $5.

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