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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, February 22 2017

Johnathan Parkes takes a quality rather than quantity approach to his riding.

Start Wondering  - Kenton Wright Race Images

"I would prefer to focus on winning big races," the Wanganui jockey said.

"I've been lucky this season because I've got on some very good horses, with the likes of Start Wondering, Volpe Veloce, St Jean and Gingernuts.

"You still have to get the job done, but it helps when you ride decent horses."

Parkes has won more stakes races this term than any other rider in New Zealand with his tally standing at nine, including seven Group races.

He is also in third place on the premiership with 50 wins and 15 behind leader Danielle Johnson, but he has a relaxed view about his chances of claiming a jockeys' crown.

"I've run second before behind Matt Cameron, but I've never really been stressed about winning a premiership," he said.

"I've really got to watch my weight and riding every day of the week takes a toll on you."

Among Parkes' highlights this term have been two Group One victories aboard Start Wondering - the Railway Stakes and the NRM Sprint - and the partnership will seek a third at Otaki on Saturday.

They will combine in Saturday's Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic and while the Wanganui galloper has excelled as a sprinter this season, he is also potent at 1600 metres.

He has won three races at the distance, including an easy win in Rating 75 company on a Premier day at Trentham. He also won over 1500m at Rosehill when trained by Chris Waller

Posted by: AT 08:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email