FORMER SA Champion trainer David Payne’s Ace High outgunned his three-year-old rivals and become an instant millionaire by winning the Group 1 $1.5 million Victoria Derby at Flemington, Saturday.

This was Payne’s 107th Gr1 winner and his sixth in Australia since leaving South Africa in 2002.

Ace High, ridden by Tye Angland, had to travel three deep around the home turn and then hit the front in the final 200m. Sully, trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, finished second for Hugh Bowman, while the James Cummings-trained Astoria finished third.

David Payne, thrilled.
David Payne, thrilled.

“It is obviously a big thrill but I was thinking man, I’m in trouble where I am around the 1000, 800. I drew gate three,” Angland said.

“Just the pace of the race. You know, I’ve said how well he relaxes but when you’re in a bunched field like that and they steady up, when they took off, they just fired my horse up and I couldn’t hold him in behind him anymore. I just had to count and just wait, let him roll into it.”

“He could have gone around again.”

With the ease of the win, Angland was correct.

Sully took up the running at the 300m before Ace High motored home out wide over the top and cleared out for a dominant win.

Ace High is by High Chaparral and races for owner John Cordina.

“I’ve always wanted to win a Gr1 race at Flemington,” said Payne.

Photo: Herald Sun.


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