The State’s most successful trainer Neville Parnham was inducted into the Hall of Fame last night.
The winner of 13 metropolitan trainers premierships, Parnham is currently running second behind Adam Durrant.
From a distinguished racing family Parnham paid tribute to his father, Harold, uncles Eric and Norm and trainers Eddie Spencer and Norm Fawcett.
Having won most of the feature races in Perth, Parnham said Playing God’s second consecutive Kingston Town victory (2011) was the most satisfying of his big race wins.
“Running nearly last in the Railway and then coming out next start and winning the Kingston Town was a real highlight. I knew that day we had him back and he picked himself up off the canvas and won. My oldest son, Steven, rode him impeccably that day.”
Parnham also said his 2000 Perth Cup win with Luna Tudor was also “a huge thrill.” His wife Carolyn’s father, Graeme Webster snr, a former top jockey, trained the third placed horse, Matriculate, in that race.
Parnham said “I get a real buzz out of my clients cheering their horse home.”
The Ascot trainer has very few interests outside of racing as with 65-70 horses in work he is kept busy.
However, he is a strong family man and his three sons Steven, Brad and Chris, still an apprentice, are all successful riders. There are also grandchildren to keep the trainer and his wife Carolyn “occupied in any spare hours.”
Parnham is neither an extrovert nor boastful but he has an immense pride in his three sons and you only have to watch his face when they win or even when he is talking to them to understand that fact.
“They have all turned out to be fine citizens,” he said modestly.
Parnham said he had no plans to retire although he may cut his team by half in future years.
He said Steven had the temperament and the interest to follow him into training. “He has the patience for it. Brad is also interested but I am not sure he knows how much work is involved,” the trainer quipped.
“I don’t get a lot of time to reflect on things but getting into the Hall of Fame is a big honour,” Parnham concluded.