Sluggish track worker Ace High will show his full hand when the blinkers go on Saturday for the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Trainer David Payne was quick to defend Ace High after another ordinary effort on the training track on Tuesday morning without the blinkers and knows that when the hood goes on race day, the Victoria Derby winner fires up.
“He’s done everything asked of him but he’s not a horse that shows you much at home but come race day that’s when he shapes up,” Payne told AAP.
“He’s lazy. He’s never won a gallop so don’t go on his work.
“He doesn’t come good until the blinkers go on come race day and I just wanted him to see the track this morning, that’s all.
“He’s a racehorse.”
Ace High was back in the winner’s stall last start with a resounding victory in the Group 2 $500,000 Yulong Australia Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 29, the four year old’s first win since claiming the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Ace High’s form has been fairly consistent over the last twelve months which included a close second in the Group 1 $2m Harrolds Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival and Payne is looking forward to seeing him step back up to the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup.
“His blood picture is good and he’s ready for Saturday,” Payne said.
“All these Cups are always strong but when you look at his form once he steps up to 2000 metres that when he strikes form, so I’m hoping it will carry on.”
High profile Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver will be having his first ride on Ace High, replacing the suspended Tye Angland who was on board for the Hill Stakes win.
Pre-post betting for the Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Ace High marked as a $12 chance in a typical wide Caulfield Cup market that has the Darren Weir trained Kings Will Dream and Chris Waller’s mare Youngstar sharing favouritism at $5.50.