Parama ready for Forbury Park return
By Jonny Turner
Progressive Forbury Park pacer Parama will return a bigger and stronger prospect when he steps out on his home track on Thursday night.
The Darryn Simpson trained pacer will have his first start as a 4yr-old after creating a good impression when winning three of his five starts last season.
Simpson and his major owner, Garry Clarke, decided to give the horse a decent break to allow him to strengthen following his last start win at Forbury Park in May.
That decision looks to have paid off judging by the way Parama is preparing for his return.
“He strengthened up big time, he has done really well,” Simpson said.
Parama gives away a race fitness edge to most of his opponents in race 3, who have had the benefit of several recent starts.
A lack of trials and workouts in Otago recently means the 4yr-old has not been able to make any public appearances ahead of his race return.
Despite that, Simpson is confident his horse is fit enough to be competitive tonight.
“He has had a decent break and is going in fresh, but I am pretty happy with his work.”
“The way he worked earlier this week — he should be thereabouts.”
“He will be improving from the run, but I still think he will be up there.”
Junior driver Ellie Barron will take the reins behind Parama in the hope he could score a penalty free win in Thursday night’s 2200m mobile.
Simpson expects the junior driver to work his 4yr-old in to the race from his wide barrier 8 draw.
“I am picking he will be able to make his own luck, even though he is first up.”
Simpson hopes to target some of Otago and Southland’s country cup races after Parama gets his campaign underway on Thursday.
“The country cups were always going to be the option, the standing starts should be right up his alley” Simpson said.
“We missed cup week because we decided to leave him out that wee bit longer so we could bring him up just a little bit slower.”
Simpson and Clarke will also start Nikasa in race 5 on Thursday night.
The 3yr-old put in a respectable effort when running sixth in her first start at Wyndham earlier this month.
Nikasa did plenty of mid race work behind the smart winner, Stylish Memphis.
Despite the strong showing in a highly talented line up, Simpson was disappointed with his filly.
“I was half disappointed with her because I do think a bit of her,” the trainer said.
“I came home and took some blood tests and she just wasn’t 100%, but she seems to have bounced back now.”
Nikasa will go in to her 2200m mobile for driver Brent Barclay without starting for over two weeks.
The filly’s recent work alongside Parama has her trainer confident Nikasa is fit and ready to race.
“She worked with Parama earlier this week and I am more than happy with her,” Simpson said.
Simpson and Clarke have a two-pronged attack on race 6 with Mack Sheer and Makara.
Both would be eachway chances if they brought their A games to the 2200m mobile.
“Makara can run a bit, but he is very green,” Simpson said.
“He has a massive motor, but it is going to take him a wee while to click.”
“Mack Sheer went a good race first up, but has been disappointing since then.”
“I have done a few wee different things with him since then and freshened him up, so I have been pretty happy with him.”