Dame To Stand Defiant In Face Of Failure

She was touted as potentially the best two year old last season but for the followers of Defiant Dame the true story was a very different tale.

Far from competing with the likes of Sepoy and Helmet at the top level she couldn’t force her way into the Golden Slipper, Champagne Stakes or any juvenile Group 1 at all for that matter.

She ran second last in the Riesling Stakes on the back of a third last in the Sweet Embrace Stakes.

It was a very different story in October of last year, Defiant Dame sat as favourite for just about every two year old feature.

In her debut in the Gimcrack Stakes she blew away the field by three and a half lengths in a dominant display of sheer speed.

In the process she account for the likes of Hallowell Belle, the soon to be Blue Diamond runner up and Elite Falls who was Golden Slipper placed.

Her time was blistering, a second quicker than Smart Missile, the only horse to ever beat home Sepoy.

Trainer David Payne was naturally disappointed with what transpired afterwards but hasn’t given up on resurrecting her form of old.

“That happens with horses unfortunately,” Payne said.

“But just looking at her work and the way she’s going, I am confident she has come back to something like her best.

“She had a lot of muscle problems in her back but seems to have shaken it off.”

She will be first up for the spring this Saturday in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes, a tough field but one connections know she can beat at her best.

“We gave her a good spell. She had eight weeks out and she seems to have come back good,” Payne said.

“Now we have to see if she can produce it in a race.”

Defiant Dame won’t be Payne’s only starter at Rosehill this Saturday, he also has Master Of Design in the Starlight Stakes.

Much like his stable mate was last year he has a mountain of expectations on him but will need to be at his best to win.

As well as the Peter Snowden trained Soul, his other rivals in the event include Group 1 champions Pressday and Atomic Force.

For Payne it is a case of having done the work, now it’s time to just wait and see what happens.

“He has a lot of problems so you have to manage him, but he’s come through the first-up win well and we just have to see if he steps up now,” he said.

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