It took a blue-blooded crock to end a frustrating feature race sequence for trainer David Payne at Rosehill on Saturday.
Since the start of the season Payne had trained no less than seven second placegetters in stakes races until Master Of Design gave a dashing frontrunning display to claim the Group Two Sebring Sprint (1300m).
Despite drifting from $13 to $21, Master Of Design had his rivals off the bit a long way from the finish before holding out Torio’s Quest ($7.50) to win by a half-neck.
“I had a good feeling about this horse today despite the run I’ve been having,” Payne said.
Master Of Design, a $2.1 million yearling, is on the comeback trail under the astute care of Payne.
“He’s a very serious racehorse. He’s won a Group Two now but if he can get a Group One then he’ll be worth millions as a stallion,” Payne said.
“His family is one of the best going around. Horses like Danasinga are in his pedigree.”
Just when Payne targets one of racing’s elite races depends on how Master Of Design recovers from Saturday’s win.
“More often that not he pulls up lame the following day so a lot will depend on how he gets over this,” Payne said.
“But there’s got to be a Group One for him somewhere. Whether it is this spring or perhaps the autumn remains to be seen.”
Master Of Design started his career with Lee Freedman before finding his way to Western Australia for one start.
With two wins in three Sydney starts, Master Of Design has found a permanent home with Payne.
“Today I had him at his top, he was completely sound for this. I’ve had to nurse him but a result like this makes it all worthwhile,” he said.
Payne’s near-misses have included defeats in the Silver Shadow and Furious Stakes with Florentina and have meant the difference of $350,000 in earnings for his Rosehill stable.
Torio’s Quest came in for heavy support and, despite his defeat, confirmed he is on target for next month’s Epsom Handicap.
The four-year-old came from the second half of the field in his first start since winning the Queensland Guineas in June.
Fast Clip ($6) also did no harm to his Epsom chances with his first-up third a neck further back, while topweight Pinwheel (fourth) and imported galloper Foreteller (fifth) also ran eye-catching races.
Randwick Guineas winner Ilovethiscity ($3.70) left favourite backers disappointed when he could only finish eighth.