Ace High didn’t set any records in his gallop at Caulfield. Picture: Mark Stewart
Ace High didn’t set any records in his gallop at Caulfield. Picture: Mark Stewart

Payne backs blinkers to switch on lazy Ace

TRAINER David Payne moved quickly to assure Damien Oliver - and punters - that his stable star Ace High was a "lazy" track worker after the Caulfield Cup contender was soundly beaten by Mighty Boss in a 2000m gallop on the course proper early on Tuesday morning.

Oliver's first ride on the four-year-old, and the horse's first look at Caulfield, didn't quite go to plan but Payne wasn't concerned, saying it will be a very different story when the blinkers are applied on Saturday.

"He never wins a gallop; he keeps it for raceday," Payne said of the $11 chance.

"We will put the blinkers on for race day. This was his first time here, and he was looking (around) at the track, so don't go off his work."

Payne had a laugh when recounting Oliver's words on dismounting: "He got off and said, 'Gee, he is lazy'. I said: 'Don't worry about his work, I just wanted him to see the track and that's all."

 

Considered one of the best locally-bred hopes to stop the international raiders, Ace High is aiming to become the first horse to win the VRC Derby-Caulfield Cup double since Elvstroem in 2004.

Trainer David Payne wasn’t worried by Ace High’s workout at Caulfield. Picture: Mark Stewart
Trainer David Payne wasn’t worried by Ace High’s workout at Caulfield. Picture: Mark Stewart

The son of High Chaparral was a last-start winner of the Group 2 Hill Stakes, and before that, ran fourth to Winx in the George Main Stakes.

"He is a pretty casual worker, but David assures me (to not) take much notice of his trackwork," Oliver said.

"He is pretty lazy and he gave me that indication on the track. But with blinkers on for race day, he will switch on and put himself into the race.

"He has some really good form leading into it, and he stays really well, so he looks to be one of the best locally-bred chances. He is a tough sort of horse who has had a good campaign. David knows how to get them ready for these big races, so that give me good confidence."

Payne said he couldn't have the horse going any better than he is now, saying: "He's spot on, everything is good … he has just got to get a nice draw now."

The step up to 2400m is "ideal", with Payne certain Ace High will adapt better to the Caulfield conditions on game day come Saturday afternoon.

 

"I think Flemington will be even more to his liking," he said. "He is a horse that loves a dogfight and he can put himself into a race, so (Caulfield) is not a problem."

CAULFIELD CUP (2400m)

Caulfield, Saturday 4.40pm

1 Best Solution (Saeed Bin Suroor) P Cosgrave 57.5kg

2 The Cliffsofmoher (Aidan O'Brien) H Bowman 56.5kg

3 Chestnut Coat (Yoshito Yahagi) Y Kawada 55.5kg

4 Jon Snow (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman) D M Lane 55.5kg

5 Sound Check (Michael Moroney) J Childs 55.5kg

6 Ace High (David Payne) D Oliver 55kg

7 The Taj Mahal (Liam Howley) J B McDonald 55kg

8 Duretto (Andrew Balding) D Dunn 54.5kg

9 Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop) Z Purton 54kg

10 Vengeur Masque (Michael Moroney) P M Moloney 54kg

11 Ventura Storm (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig) R Bayliss 54kg

12 Mighty Boss (Mick Price) T Clark 53.5kg

13 Homesman (Liam Howley) B J Melham 53kg

14 Kings Will Dream (Darren Weir) C Williams 53kg

15 Sole Impact (Hirofumi Toda) R Sakai (a0) 53kg

16 Gallic Chieftain (Darren Weir) 52.5kg

17 Night's Watch (Darren Weir) B Allen (a0) 52kg

18 Youngstar (Chris Waller) K McEvoy 51.5kg

19e Patrick Erin (Chris Waller) C Brown 52kg

20e Jaameh (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig) C J Parish 50kg

 

 

 

 

BIGGEST POTENTIAL COLLECTS ON THE CAULFIELD CUP

$1,000 at $101 on Mighty Boss to win, $1,500 at $26 to place for $140,000

$1,400 at $51 on Ventura Storm to win, $400 at $13.50 to place for $76,800

$5,000 at $6 on Kings Will Dream to win for $30,000

$5,000 at $6 on Kings Will Dream to win for $30,000

$500 at $51 on Night's Watch to win for $25,500

$500 at $51 on Jon Snow to win for $25,500

$500 at $51 on Jaameh to win for $25,500

$750 each-way on Chestnut Coat at $26/$7.25 to win for $24,937.50

$400 at $51 on Kings Will Dream to win for $20,400

$500 at $34 on Night's Watch to win for $17,000

$1,000 at $17 on Youngstar to win for $17,000

$500 each-way on Ace High at $26/$7.25 to win for $16,625

$500 each-way on Duretto at $26/$7.25 to win for $16,625

$2,000 at $7 on The Cliffsofmoher to win, $1,000 at $2.50 to place for $16,500

 

 

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