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Image: Steve Hart
Trainer David Payne has Costello ready to peak in the Winter Cup

David Payne is well aware it has been more than a year since Costello last raced over his pet distance but he is hoping the horse can make the wait worthwhile.

A son of 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, Costello has an excellent 2400 metre record having competed over the journey three times for a win and a third.

His only other attempt was in the 2019 Australian Derby where he finished a creditable seventh to Angel Of Truth.

The five-year-old last raced over a genuine staying journey in May last year, posting a 2400m victory at Rosehill, and it hasn’t been by design that Saturday’s Listed Winter Cup will be Costello’s first time back at the distance since.

“It just hasn’t worked out for us,” Payne said.

“They’ve all been good runs at this distance and he is bred to do it when you look at his pedigree, being by Americain.”

Costello comes into the Winter Cup off a light preparation following midfield efforts in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and the Lord Mayors Cup (2000m).

Payne has him ready to peak third-up at Rosehill and says fitness won’t be an issue.

“He’s fit. He has done a lot of work in between (runs) and he’s been in work for a while,” he said.

“He has taken a bit of time to get fit, but we’ve had a little bit of rain which will help him, and we’re just going to ride him quiet from that barrier.”

Costello will jump from gate 13 in the 14-horse field and will be partnered by regular rider Keagan Latham.

Payne also confirmed two-year-old Gleneagles had been sent for a spell after disappointing in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes last weekend, ruling him out of next Saturday’s JJ Atkins.

The youngster will be given four weeks in the paddock before returning to be prepared for the spring.

 
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