Angland sends wedding cheers to his brother with Spring Champion Stakes win
Clinton Payne - Saturday October 7

Tye Angland made the "gut wrenching" decision to miss his brother's wedding on Saturday to ride Ace High in the Group I Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick and he was vindicated when the David Payne-trained galloper proved too good.

Ace High (orange) wins the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Photo: Steve Hart

Angland's older brother Cody is one of Australia's best bronco riders on the rodeo circuit and he was married, according to Tye, "in the middle of nowhere up in Springsure", a town in the Central Highlands region of Queensland, 350km west of Rockhampton.

"It wasn't an easy decision. He's my brother," Angland said. "But for where I am in my career, this is where I need to be to go to the next level.

"As much as it was hard not to go to Cody's wedding, I needed to be selfish and stay on this horse.

"I rang him this morning and wished him well and I'll ring him again tonight.

"This will make the party a whole better, they all would have backed him."

The victory was Angland's second Group I success in the past three weeks, adding to his win aboard Trapeze Artist in the Golden Rose while for trainer David Payne it was his first since the autumn of 2015.

Ace High ($3.10 fav) led all the way to defeat the fast-finishing Chris Waller-trained Tangled ($5.50) by a short-head with Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young's Sully ($8.50) another 1-1/2 lengths back in third.

"We rode him to suit the race today," Payne said.

"There was no pace in the race so we opted to lead on him but you'll see a better horse when he can follow something.

"Today we had to make it a stayer's race."

The win was Payne's 107th Group I as a trainer, his sixth since moving from South Africa to Australia in 2002 and he may only have to wait another four weeks to add another to his mantle piece.

"We bought him as a Derby horse," Payne said. "I'll speak to the owner and see how we go. I'm keen on the (Victoria) 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."

Ace High firmed into $9 for the Victoria Derby after his Spring Champion Stakes win behind the favourites Main Stage at $6 and Tavistock Abbey at $8.

Post-race Angland pleaded guilty to striking Ace High four times more than allowed and stewards fined him $4000. 

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