FORMER SA Champion trainer David Payne isn’t prone to hyperbole but believes he has unearthed a top horse after Mayfair Speculators’ The Mighty Fed (nearest camera, headline photo) finishing powerfully to win the Stratum Star At Widden Handicap (1100m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney on Saturday.

Payne explained that South African and international owner Markus Jooste had given him a commission to buy a yearling, but he had to persuade Jooste’s racing manager Derek Brugman that The Mighty Fed was the yearling he wanted to buy.

“I got my way, and I actually overpaid for him as they gave me $300,000 for him but I went to $310,000. But now he is cheap,” Payne said with a laugh.

“Once he gets to the mile (1600m) that is when we will see the best of him,” he added.

“I think this horse will measure up to races like the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas in the spring,’’ Payne said. “I’m sure he will run a mile, probably even further. He’s a good horse.’’

The Mighty Fed was ridden patiently by Tim Clark and stormed over the top of favourite Debonairly to win by half a length with Siam almost two lengths away third.

Payne said The Mighty Fed will go to the spelling paddock as early as Sunday after scoring his second successive city win from just three starts.

“He should be unbeaten,’’ Payne said. “I thought he would win his debut but he was slow away then ran fourth (behind Condor Heroes).

“But the experience he gained from that win has done him the world of good. We could keep him going and win some more Sydney races in the next month or so but I have been in this game too long to start chasing money.

“If you do that, chase money, you can bugger your horse — and this big bloke has a really good future.’’

Payne said he found The Mighty Fed as a yearling and negotiated his purchase for $300,000.

-extracts from Daily Telegraph and