Payne Ready To Show Derby Ace

By Kelsey Riley

The lone Group 1 winner in Saturday’s $1.5-million G1 Victoria Derby (2500m) field, the David Payne-trained Ace High (Aus) (High Chaparral {Ire}) hasn’t raced since his Spring Champion S. (2000m) victory on Oct. 7, but the colt has shown in his back to back stakes victories that he is really looking for the Derby trip.

Having taken up the lead in his last two starts, trainer David Payne has stated numerous times since his last victory that the colt will not be leading in the Derby and will be better off with a sit. From barrier three, jockey Tye Angland should be able to bounce the colt out and allow him to settle in a handy position.

Chris Waller’s Tangled (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}) finished a very close second in the Spring Champion S. and has since taken the same position behind Cliff’s Edge (Aus) (Canford Cliffs {Ire}) in the G3 Norman Robinson S. (2000m). While Tangled’s sire is known more for the success of his progeny over a sprint journey, the colt’s dam Bramble Rose (NZ) (Shinko King {Ire}) is a winner of the G1 NZ Oaks (2400m), adding stoutness to the pedigree.

Coming from a long way back two starts ago to record an incredible victory in the Listed UCI S. (1800m) on Oct. 7 at Flemington, Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young’s Main Stage (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}) was ridden a lot closer last start in the Norman Robinson and failed to produce his best when third. Set to be ridden back from gate 14, watch for jockey Michael Walker to be get into clear running rounding the home turn, where the gelding should be able to show that acceleration down the long Flemington straight.

Five lengths behind Main Stage in his Flemington victory before showing his own class with a win in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m), Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman’s Weather With You (Aus) (Teofilo {Ire}) produced an extremely tough effort to hold off the late run of Ocean’s Fourteen (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}), who will also race here. With only three runs under his belt, Aaron Purcell’s Ocean’s Fourteen has come a long way in a short period of time, and while the Derby may be too soon for the improving stayer, the colt is one to watch for the future.

Another from the Busuttin and Young camp who continues to improve is the Spring Champion S. third placed Sully (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}). As the distances have increased, the gelding has continued to show his ability and with the journey of 2500m ahead of him, jockey Hugh Bowman could continue his Group 1-winning form.

Although beaten over nine lengths when fourth in the G2 Vase at Moonee Valley last Saturday, Robbie Laing’s Pissaro (Aus) (Pierro {Aus}) was working home very well and his trainer and jockey have both stated during the week that they feel their colt can win the Derby.

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