PAYNE SEES BLINK­ERS AS ACE IN THE HOLE

The Sportsman Weekend - - NEWS - CRAIG BREN­NAN

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.

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