Randwick around the track with Clinton Payne on Saturday

Clinton Payne - Saturday October 21

There was no The Everest hangover for Sydney racegoers on Saturday with another solid crowd of 12,303 in attendance at Randwick.

Kaonic is a horse of the future judging by his win at Randwick on Saturday.
Photo: Steve Hart


Spring Champion Stakes winner Ace High continues to please his trainer David Payne as he prepares the colt for the $1.5 million Group I Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 4.

Ace High took part in an exhibition gallop at Randwick on Saturday. He worked over 2000m with stablemate Blue Seal, "going 14 (seconds) to the furlong” until pinging home the last 600m of the gallop in a sharp 35.17 seconds on the soft (6) rated track.

"That was good. It was a basic easy gallop,” jockey Tye Angland said. "I didn’t want ask him to do too much, basically just go through the gears because of the softish track.

"I actually can’t believe the last 600 metre time because he didn’t feel like he was going that fast and that’s a good sign.”

Payne said he will continue to keep Ace High "ticking over” before the son of High Chaparral has his next run in the Victorian blue-ribband.

"The excitement of a raceday helps them. It gets the adrenaline going and that’s why I wanted to bring him here today,” Payne said.

Ace High is an $8 chance in the Victoria Derby.


While on Derby Day, I’m tipping Chris Waller has another Carbine Club Stakes at his mercy with his exciting Savabeel colt Kaonic.

The three-year-old did something Waller’s recent Carbine Club Stakes’ winners, Comin’ Through (2016) and Kermadec (2014), couldn’t do on Saturday – win the 2CH Benchmark 75 Handicap (1600m).

Both Kermadec and Comin’ Through were beaten in the race before winning the Group III set weights event at Flemington in their next start.

I’ll even go one further with Kaonic – He’s my early tip for next year’s Doncaster Handicap, a race Waller’s won three times with three-year-olds.


Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist will have a jumpout at Rosehill on Tuesday as he steps up preparations for the Group I Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 4.

Trapeze Artist was scratched from last week’s $500,000 Sydney Stakes, won by In Her Time, after he was found to be lame in the week leading up to the race.

Trainer Gerald Ryan said the horse had "strained a muscle in his neck” but showed he was over his setback in a gallop at Rosehill on Saturday.

"He worked great and he was good as gold when he got home,” he said.

"We’re back on track for the Coolmore and he’ll have a good hit-out in a jumpout on Tuesday.”


Trainer Gerald Ryan revealed his star sprinting colt Menari returned to his stables on Friday after undergoing tie-back surgery on Monday.

Ryan said in March this year, Menari was classed as a Grade 2 roarer but when he went in for his surgery, the horse’s throat had deteriorated to a Grade 5, the highest grading given.

"In the end his throat was only operating at about 15 percent,” Ryan said. "You give up 85 percent of oxygen and see how you go.”

Ryan said Menari will be back in work at the start of December and will be back in action during the autumn.


Veterinary procedures like tie-back surgery, bone chip removal could be listed as gear changes next year.

When discussing Menari’s recent surgery with chief steward Marc Van Gestel at Randwick on Saturday, he said the issue will be on the agenda at the next chairman of stewards’ conference later this year.

"We did discuss the issue at our last chairman of stewards’ conference,” he said.

"I think it is something we could look to take even further, a national register of treatments and surgeries.

"You could look at it and see two years ago this horse had throat surgery, last year that horse had bone chips removed. It’s transparent and would allow people to make their own minds up if it would have an effect on a horse’s performance.

"We’re (Australian chairmen of stewards’) due to meet towards the end of this year, it will be on the agenda again and hopefully it can progress from there.

"It needs to go through the national advisory body and then approved by Racing Australia.”


Former Victoria Derby-winning trainer Gordon Yorke is seeking legal advice after stewards revealed the excessive cobalt levels his galloper Follow Through returned in a pre-race swab from a Grafton Class 1 on July 13.

Follow Through finished second in the race after easing from $8 out to $21.

Stewards revealed the two samples tested by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) showed cobalt levels at 4413 micrograms per litre of urine (µg/L) and approximately4000 µg/L.

Yorke is facing a charge under Australian rule of racing AR178. The particulars of the charge being the pre-race urine sample taken from Follow Through contained cobalt levels above that legal threshold of 100 µg/L.

Stewards allowed the inquiry to be adjourned so Yorke can obtain legal counsel.

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