PAYNE SEES BLINKERS AS ACE IN THE HOLE
TRAINER David Payne is confident once the blinkers go on Ace High his jockey will see a different horse in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup.
Damien Oliver was partnered with Ace High for the first time in a gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday and quipped afterwards about the laziness of the work.
But Payne was unfazed, saying four-year-old is in perfect shape ahead of this weekend’s $5 million handicap.
“He’s done everything asked of him but he’s not a horse that shows you much at home come race day that’s when he shapes up,” Payne said.
“He’s lazy. He’s never won a gallop so don’t go on his work.
“He doesn’t come good until the blinkers go on come race day and I just wanted him to see the track this morning, that’s all.
“He’s a racehorse.” Ace High is joined by outsider Mighty Boss and current favourite Youngstar as the only three locally bred gallopers in Caulfield Cup.
Payne said Ace High loves to get into a dogfight and will enjoy the tough 2400m contest.
He’s raced twice at or further, winning the VRC Derby
Flemington and being touched out by a nose in the Australian Derby at Randwick in the autumn.
“His blood picture is good and he’s ready for Saturday,” Payne said.
“All these Cups are always strong but when you look at his form once he steps up to 2000m that when strikes form, so I’m hoping it will carry on.”
The four-year-old remains an $11 chance after coming up with an ideal draw.
He has drawn barrier 8 and would move in one gate should the emergencies not gain a start.