JOSH PARR knew he was going to win the Southern Cross Stakes on Skytrain approaching the home turn despite being the widest runner.
Skytrain ate up the heavy ground as he sprinted clear of ATC Oaks winner Streama in the home straight at Warwick Farm.
The Darley horse was returning from a second-place finish in the Expressway Stakes a fortnight earlier, and Parr was glad to be back in partnership with the seven-year-old.
''He loves the wet track,'' Parr said. ''I actually said to him at the 400 metres, 'Skytrain how do you feel? You're going half-pace next to a group 1 winner'. He went real easy the entire race and let down nicely. I was praying that this meeting would go ahead after all the rain because he really appreciates it and it's good to get back on him.
''He relished the going and I thought his effort was really good to travel alongside Streama like he did and run away from her. He's a real confidence horse.''
Darley's foreman, Brad Widdup, admitted the race did not pan out as predicted, but in the back of his mind he was confident the horse's form would be hard to overcome.
''He was caught out wide there and we were hoping to get a little bit of cover, but Josh knows him and he's won well,'' Widdup said.
''Christian Reith has been riding him and he said he was going really well. Last start he got beat but he didn't shirk the effort, so we were happy with that.''
Runner-up Streama was returning from a top spring campaign and jockey Hugh Bowman said race fitness cost his mount any chance.
''It was a good return,'' he said. ''The other horse had the fitness edge on her, but she's come back well.''
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