Ace ride rewards Ang­land for tough choice


TYE Ang­land had the most dif­fi­cult of choices to make — does he ride the favourite in a Group 1 race at Rand­wick or travel in­ter­state to at­tend his brother’s wed­ding?

The tal­ented jockey ended up rid­ing and win­ning the fi­nal ma­jor in Sydney this year on Ace High in the $500,000 Spring Cham­pion Stakes (2000m) yes­ter­day but still there was some re­gret.

“It wasn’t an easy de­ci­sion to make, but Cody gave me his bless­ing to ride,” Ang­land said.

“I can’t even make it to the re­cep­tion be­cause it is in the mid­dle of nowhere at a place called Spring­sure (near Emer­ald) in cen­tral Queens­land.

“But I’m sure they have had a great day and, as he said, you don’t get many chances to win a Group 1 at Rand­wick.”

Ang­land pro­duced a bril­liant, fron­trun­ning ride to guide Ace High to a de­served win, al­beit in a thrilling fin­ish.

Ace High ($3.20 favourite) held off the late surge of Tan­gled ($5.50) to win by a nose. Sully ($8.50) was 1½ lengths away third. Ang­land was fined $4000 for ex­ces­sive whip use.

The win was spe­cial for trainer David Payne and owner John Cor­dina.

“John has been a loyal client since 2003, but this is our first Group 1 win to­gether,” Payne said. “I’m re­ally happy for him be­cause he loves his rac­ing.”

Cor­dina cut his teeth in har­ness rac­ing before shar­ing the own­er­ship of a thor­ough­bred called Fair­way, who won the 1999 Spring Cham­pion Stakes.

“Ever since I raced Fair­way, I’ve al­ways wanted to race stay­ers,” Cor­dina said. “We have had to wait a while, but it looks like in Ace High we have found a nice horse.’’

Ace High be­came the 10th horse — and first since Monaco Consul in 2009 — to win the Gloam­ing Stakes-Spring Cham­pion Stakes dou­ble.

“When you are on the best stayer, you go for­ward and try to break their hearts,’’ Ang­land said. “I was on empty late, but the easy sec­tion­als early that I got right paid div­i­dends.”

Ace High will be aimed at the Vic­to­ria Derby (2500m) at Flem­ing­ton on Oc­to­ber 4.

“I think he is go­ing to be a bet­ter horse when he can fol­low some­thing, but to­day we had to make it a stayer’s race.’’ Payne said.

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