Ace High Able to Turn Left for Victoria Derby says Trainer Payne

Although we have never seen a Sydney horse fail to turn in the proper direction when racing Melbourne way in Victoria, it is hard to imagine that it has never happened.

If it has, we place the blame squarely on the jockey and look forward to the day when autonomous horseracing is the order of the day. The younger amongst us might someday be having a punt of the Tesla Melbourne Cup, which will feature big crowds at Flemington, all of whom will have arrived at the track in electrically powered driverless vehicles.

This is just our simple way of saying that running comes quite naturally to thoroughbreds and all the jockey needs to do is steer the horse in the proper direction and perhaps urge the horse to run faster.

If changing directions were a major issue, Sydney trainer David Payne’s Ace High would not be the $4.40 favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500 m) at Flemington.

More unpredictable than how a horse responds to be switched from clockwise to anti-clockwise racing is the fact that the Victoria Derby is for three-year-olds that are surpassed in unknowns only by two-year-olds.

Ace High seems to be in good form with a solid outing for the win the Group 1 Spring Champions Stakes (2000 m) at Randwick in early October and Payne is of the opinion that Ace High is the best he has fielded in his fourth try at the Derby.

“He (Ace High) is one of the better ones I’ve trained. He is not as sharp as Criterion was, but he has got a bit of class about him,” said Payne.

Payne is also unconcerned about making left turns. “People seem to forget he has been the Melbourne way of going before (when fifth in the VRC Sires Produce in March),” he said.“We have also galloped him the reverse way of going at Rosehill. It won’t be a problem.”

Ace High is by High Chaparral from Come Sunday and has won his past two races. He has drawn barrier three for the Derby.

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