The North Canterbury husband-and-wife training duo produced veteran stayer Camino Rocoso for a dazzling win in Tuesday's Greymouth Cup (2000m), a performance both described as “breathtaking”.
First and second in his previous two starts in the Greymouth Cup, Camino Rocoso's win set up a title defence of Saturday's Kumara Gold Nuggets (1810m).
“When he got back where he did, I thought he's going to muff it today but then he just took my breath away with that finish,” Karen Parsons said.
“He took John's breath away too and that doesn't happen very often. I couldn't believe John's reaction. He was just so proud of the horse.
“This horse and Jason Laking just love each other too. When he gets on him, they just jell. They're just chummy. As he's got older nothing has changed too much with him. He's an easy horse but he does love Jason.”
Laking, who has ridden Camino Rocoso eight times for three wins and two placings, sticks with his mount in a bid to replicate their success in the Kumara feature last year.
“The Greymouth Cup is a race that has always fitted into his programme well. He's come through it well too,” Parsons said.
“There's rain expected and that could set the cat amongst the pigeons because he doesn't really like it wet. He always races better on a dry track.
“But it would be huge if he could win the Nuggets again. An old horse like him, it's amazing to think what he's still able to do.”
The Parsons will have just one other runner at the meeting, El Tirador in the Alex Hayward/Noel Wafer POW Memorial 1810.