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.