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Rosehill trainer David Payne and owner John Cordina are eyeing a number of Group 1 feature races during Sydney’s upcoming ‘The Championships’ including the ATC Oaks for smart filly All Too Soon.

All Too Hard

All Too Soon is a daughter of All Too Hard (pictured) who is on track for a 2018 ATC Oaks bid this autumn in Sydney. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli.

A nicely-bred daughter of four-time Group 1 champion All Too Hard, the Payne-trained All Too Soon is being spruiked by the stable as a genuine contender for the Group 1 $1 million ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 14.

To date she has had six career starts in non-stakes grade, her first win coming last time out on Melbourne Cup Day, November 7, at Randwick in the $40,000 Task Retail Plate (1800m).

That set weights clash for three-year-olds was also the first run over further than 1400m for All Too Soon who showed an affinity for the staying distance saluting by nearly two lengths.

“We can go to some rating races and step her up slowly,” former South African-based horseman Payne told Racing NSW.

“She’s done tremendously as well but she was always going to be better later on.”

Payne is considering the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 31 as a possible Oaks lead-up for All Too Soon to genuinely test her staying ability.

“I think she is good enough [to win a Group 1], I just think the Oaks might be a bit too far,” he admitted.

“We’ll find out when we get going but I’ve always had a good opinion of her.”

Payne and Cordina are also looking to make history with reigning Victoria Derby winner Ace High out to be just the third to back-up in the autumn and take out the Australian Derby since 1979.

Ace High will likely kick off his Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $400,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 24.

“I don’t want to back him up early in his prep so we might have to go to a 1200m then to 1400m but we’ll work it out once we’re further along,” Payne said of the son of High Chaparral who also won Sydney’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) last time in.

“I don’t want to start off in Melbourne, I’d rather kick him off here but there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge.”

Ace High’s grand final is on April 7 at Royal Randwick in the Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) where he will out to be the first VRC Derby champion to win the Sydney counterpart since Mahogany (1993-94).

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.

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