Group One Autumn Goals for Derby Winning Colt

Media Release - Thursday November 30

As Victoria Derby hero Ace High continues a well-earned break in the spelling paddock, trainer David Payne is already plotting the next chapter of his success which may ultimately lead to a stud career at a major farm.

Payne's first long-term plan with Ace High came to fruition on November 7 when the son of High Chaparral saluted in the $1.5 million Group I Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.

Ace High It was a race the Rosehill trainer had earmarked ever since the colt finished second on debut as an October two-year-old.

Now a two-time Group I winner, courtesy of his Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) success in October, Ace High can add another three elite level wins during the 2018 autumn carnival.

The preparation is set to follow the same path to that of Payne's former champion Criterion, winner of the 2014 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Australian Derby (2400m).

"We'll bring him back into work in a few weeks and have a go at the Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and then the Derby," Payne said.

"He's only just becoming a horse I think. He kept improving with each run last time and I'm sure we'll see a stronger horse next year so we're hoping he can just keep going."

There have been early expressions of interest from studs in New Zealand to acquire the colt, who descends from the family of legendary sire Danehill, but Payne said the owner, John Cordina, is no rush to cut the colt's racing career short in exchange for a big payday.

"There's been a bit of interest from New Zealand, with him being a Derby winner but one thing about John is that he loves his racing so I don't think he'll be wanting to sell any time soon," Payne said.

"It's great for racing and great for John because he has been very loyal to me."

Payne and Cordina have raced horses together for many years and celebrated success with classy performers  like Gallant Tess, Centennial Park, Stripper, Praecido, and Rock Hero.

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