It will be a new-look Big Parade who steps out at Kembla Grange after his recent bad boy behaviour proved the final straw for trainer Mark Newnham.
The four-year-old has been gelded since his most recent appearance at Canterbury in September when he scored a runaway 5-1/2 length win.
En route to his next start, Big Parade’s campaign unravelled when he misbehaved in the float, causing himself an injury which forced his race day scratching.
“He is back with a major gear change,” Newnham said.
“His behaviour was awful. He threw himself around on the truck travelling out there and hit his head and had a bit of blood coming from his nose, that’s why he ended up being scratched.
“He travelled back even worse. That’s why we gelded him and we’ve just kept him ticking over in the stables.”
Big Parade had no mishaps on the float when he travelled to Warwick Farm for a recent barrier trial and has been much more settled around the stable.
Newnham is looking forward to a clean slate, starting in Saturday’s ABAX Contracting Handicap (1200m) at the stand-alone Kembla Grange meeting.
Big Parade has won three of his seven starts in spite of his coltish temperament and Newnham hopes he can continue to work through the grades.
“He’s got every chance now to realise his potential without any other distractions,” he said.
Import Skymax will make his debut for the stable in the Marty, Crammy and Lyndal Handicap (2000m) after his English-based owners sought to chase the healthy prize money in Sydney.
Typical of the Europeans, what Skymax lacks in leg speed he makes up for in lung capacity.
“It’s a bit of a leap of faith on Saturday straight up to 2000 metres but these sort of horses have never really been out of training their whole life, they’re naturally fit,” Newnham said.
“He’s a nice horse but he’s quite dour. I’ve ridden him work and I didn’t want to run him over anything shorter.
“I’m sure he will win races here. We just need to see a bit more of him before we know which direction to head in.”