Payne has High hopes for Clas­sic colt

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - By SHAYNE O’CASS

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.

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