Latin News has been knocking on the door of a return to the winner’s circle since joining David Payne’s team and he gets another chance at Rosehill on Saturday.
The stakeswinner will take on the likes of Secret Admirer and Neeson in the Group Three Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) as Payne chases feature race success in two states.
The Rosehill trainer also has the consistent Centennial Park in the Group Two Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill while in Melbourne stablemates Master Of Design and Winter King shoot for Group One glory in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
Latin News firmed from $9 to $6 with TAB Sportsbet before tightening further to $4.80 following the scratching of Yosei.
He is returning from a freshen-up after his close third in the $400,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) six weeks ago.
The entire only had his first start for Payne in late October after doing his early racing under the guidance of Bart Cummings.
“He has run three seconds and a third in the four runs for me so he’s been knocking on the door,” Payne said.
“He’s been very competitive and just needs a bit of luck, that’s all.”
Dual Group One winner Secret Admirer is the $3.60 favourite ahead of Neeson ($4.40) and Payne admitted they were the class runners of the race.
“But I think the weight difference is in our favour,” he said.
Latin News, to be ridden by premiership leader Hugh Bowman, will carry 54kg with Secret Admirer to shoulder 59.5kg and Neeson 59kg.
Centennial Park pleased Payne with his first-up second to Rain Affair in the Expressway Stakes (1200m) and takes on the impressive Joe Pride-trained runner again in the Apollo.
“He’s been a really honest horse every preparation and he’ll appreciate the drying conditions because he hates bog tracks,” Payne said.
“It was a very good run first-up because we had to have him a bit handier due to the track condition. Tomorrow we’ll have him where he’s happy and I think 1400 metres is his best distance.”
Payne believes both Master Of Design (53kg) and Winter King (52.5kg) are well weighted to be competitive in the Oakleigh Plate where brilliant three-year-old Sepoy has topweight of 58kg.
“They are both fit and well and well weighted,” Payne said.
“I think Sepoy is badly weighted and it’s going to be tough for him. Bel Sprinter will be difficult to beat, he looks quite a fair horse.”
Master Of Design won the Group Two Sebring Sprint (1300m) in his first preparation for Payne last spring and also finished third in the Group One Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Winter King has raced twice at Caulfield including a second to Black Caviar in the 2010 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at weight-for-age.