The Sportsman Weekend

Payne confident in Champion duo

- SHAYNE O’CASS

DAVID Payne has two chances to make it three Spring Champion Stakes winners in the space of five years at Royal Randwick on Saturday via two horses coming off wildly different lead ins.

One of them is Raging Bull, a booming last start provincial maiden winner, while the other, French Emperor, beat just one home in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes.

French Emperor is well equipped to be winning classics as a son of ‘Derby sire’ Tavistock out of a sister to ATC Oaks winner Unforgotte­n.

Payne is warning punters not to punish the gelding off his lacklustre Gloaming performanc­e which came just 14-days after his impressive mile maiden win at Goulburn.

“It was my fault,” Payne told Sportsman.

“I put blinkers on and it wasn’t the right decision. Tim (Clark) said he just over-raced the whole first part of

race so he wasn’t going to finish off.

“I think you will see a different horse on Saturday.

“I think French Emperor is the better one of my two in race.”

That said, Payne is not ruling out a Spring Champion or even VRC Derby win for Raging Bull who heads into the 2000m Group 1 feature off a confidence boosting win at Wyong last month.

“I just think he has been immature and didn’t really know what was going on,” Payne explained.

“And the run before when he got beaten at Hawkesbury was just one of those days. He got too far back and was wide out so it just didn’t work.

“He is definitely a stayer but I want to see how close he can he get to Profondo and those types of horses to see if he can get to the (Victoria) Derby or not.

“He is proven that he can sit on pace and we know he can get the trip so we’ll have him right there.”

Payne’s first winner in the Spring Champion was Ace High who won VRC Derby by a big space in 2016 while Montefilia who became Hugh Bowman’s 100th Group 1 winner when she took out the Metropolit­an Handicap at Randwick last Saturday.

 ?? ?? David Payne.
David Payne.

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