Ace High will head to the 2017 Spring Champion Stakes at Royal Randwick in a fortnight after he recorded a tough win in the Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Tye Angland took Ace High straight to the front in the early stages of the Gloaming Stakes and he got the horse into a nice rhythm, but he did not have things his own way in front.
Godolphin galloper Sanctioned travelled like the winner coming around the turn and cruised up to his rival, but Ace High was in for the fight and he simply outstayed Sanctioned in the final stages of the Gloaming Stakes.
Trainer David Payne was always confident that Ace High would hit his best form once he got out over a staying trip and he confirmed that the Spring Champion Stakes at Royal Randwick on October 14 and the Victoria Derby at Flemington on November 5 are both on the agenda for the three-year-old.
“This has been the plan all along to get him to these races because this is where he shows his true potential,” Payne said.
“He will go to the Spring Champion and if he comes through that alright we will think about the Derby in Victoria.
“When he won at Kembla we gave him a little freshen-up and it just worked out fine.
“He keeps going and he would go three times around the track.”
Ace High was attacked by Tommy Berry on All Day in the middle of the Gloaming Stakes, but Angland believes that may have played into the hands of his mount as it enabled him to get up and running nice and early.
“I thought I had an easy enough run and I knew that I would be attacked,” Angland said.
“Tommy came at me and I really had to pick my horse up because when he got to the front he just switched off.
“It probably helped me because it got the bit back into his mouth and when we got to the corner I let him slide, gave him a dig and he responded well.
“When Hughie came at me my fellow just kept on fighting and it was a good, solid win.”
Sanctioned had every possible chance to run down Ace High in the final stages of the Gloaming Stakes, but he was simply outstayed by his rival.