The judge has found it impossible to split two-year-olds Dio D’Oro and Toulouse at Rosehill but the pair will head in different paths in the new season.
The Gary Portelli-trained Dio D’Oro ($5.50) and Toulouse ($2.80) hit the line together in Saturday’s 1400m race after the former seemed to get the upper hand.
Toulouse fought back and past the post was well in front, reinforcing Payne’s belief he is a potential stayer.
“This was probably a bit short for him,” Payne said.
Ace High won both Group One races in 2017.
Portelli’s racing manager Loren Wadsworth said Dio D’Oro was more likely to head to the shorter races like the Rosebud and Run To The Rose in a few weeks but the trainer would decide when he returned from holiday.
Dio D’Oro has won all three starts during his preparation, the first two on heavy tracks and the third on soft.
Saturday’s race favourite Bubbles ‘N’ Troubles ($2.50) finished a neck behind the leading pair.
In contrast to the youngsters, Realing ($6.50) controlled the finish of the Highway Handicap, also over 1400m, to beat Cliff ($8) by 1-1/4 lengths.
He was ridden by Tye Angland who trainer Matt Dunn’s wife and stable representative Keira Dunn said was a key booking.
“This horse runs for Tye,” she said.
“He has a great record on him and when you can get these good jockeys it makes such a difference.”
Realing has now won four races, three with Angland aboard.