Payne has High hopes for Classic colt
THE only horse to date to win the Up And Coming Stakes and VRC Derby was Mahogany back in 1993 while it is unlikely Ace High will emulate Lee Freedman’s champion, he’ll at least be given an opportunity to surprise.
Ace High is trained by David Payne who knows what it takes to win a classic having trained Criterion win the 2014 ATC Australian Derby.
Ace High has a long way to go to reach those lofty heights but sent out all the right signals with his 1.3-lens win in an unusually strong Kembla maiden on July 22, first-up since he creditable fourth in the Group 1 ATC Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
“We hunted him up (at Kembla) to teach to get into the race but we’re coming back 100m and I think it’s going to be a bit too short for him myself,” Payne said.
“His main mission is going to be the Gloaming and the Spring Champion over 1800m and 2000m.
“He’s nominated for the VRC Derby as well.
“He is trying his hardest let’s see how close he can get.”
Payne secured himself (and owner John Cordina) a bargain when he outlaid just $130,000 to buy Ace High at the Magic Millions Sale.
A striking dark coloured colt, Ace High is by High Chaparral while his fifth dam Spring Adieu is the dam of the immortal Danehill, his sixth Dam is Natalma – mother of breedshaper Northern Dancer.
“I don’t know why he was so cheap because was a lovely yearling,” Payne said.
“John Cordina was standing next to me when I bought him. He said did you buy that horse and said yes and he he’d take him. He’s got himself a nice horse.”
Meanwhile, trainer Gerald Ryan is aiming to secure his second big three-year-old race of the new season within seven-days with Trapeze Artist resuming in the Up And Coming.
The reigning Black Opal winner finished sixth in the Golden Slipper prior to committed on-pace third in a capacity Sires’ Produce Stakes.
“His two trials have been good,” Ryan told AAP.
“He is a very laid-back horse and only does what he had to do.
“I think he’s fit enough. He is a very hard horse to get line on in his work but knowing him I think he’s ready.
“But there are a lot of good three-year-olds around this season.”
Chief among those is Ryan’s own Menari who blew his rivals off the park to win last weekend’s Run To The Rose.