By Brad Gray At Royal Randwick
Tye Angland revealed he missed his brother tying the knot to steer Ace High to victory in the $500,000 Group One Spring Champion Stales (2000m).
“Not many people would know I missed my brother’s wedding today for this fella so I owed him,” Tye said, “It was in the middle of Queensland.”
Ace High, the Gloaming Stakes winner, was taken straight to the front by Angland before holding off a late charge from Tangled to hold a short head margin at the finish.
“He was on empty late but he dug in. When horses come around him you just feel him pick up and grab the bit again. He is probably better off with another horse taking him on to keep him honest,” he said.
“I went forward again today, we thought there was going to be a bit more pressure. He just had a beautiful run and I thought I would make it a staying test.”
It was David Payne’s first Group One success since Criterion’s ATC Derby win in 2014 and his first for long-term owner John Cordina, who has been with Payne since 2003. Payne revealed that the three-year-old High Chaparral colt compared very favourably to his past Victorian Derby runners.
“We always liked him. He was a big strong horse. I said when he was a baby this was my Derby horse,” said Payne.
“I’m keen on the Derby. I had Criterion, Praecido and Honorius and they all ran well. He’s the best of them. Well I don’t know better than Criterion but he’s a good stayer. Criterion was more brilliant. His brilliance got him the trip. He was more of a miler.
“I think he is going to be a better horse when he can follow something but today we had to make it a stayer’s race.”
Meanwhile, Blake Shinn suggested he could’ve reeled in the winner had he got clear running at the right time.
“It was a great run. The pace was dictated by the leader and didn’t suit my horse but he ran a great race. Full credit to the winner but with a little bit more luck he probably nearly gets him,” said Shinn.
John Cordina and David Payne after 14 years of trying have their first G1 winner together in Ace High pic.twitter.com/BGgZqmH7f3
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) October 7, 2017