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David Payne's promising three-year-old gelding French Emperor looks set to impress in Gloaming Stakes

When finishing third on debut at $41 behind Richard Litt’s $1.9million colt Profondo, many astute punters recognised that David Payne’s runner was a fair bit handier than the market suggested.

Payne then sent his gelding to a Goulburn maiden. Although doing all but everything wrong in the run, French Emperor was still able to salute by 2L at the $1.60 quote.

The promising three-year-old son of Tavistock now lines up a live chance in Saturday’s Gloaming Stakes (1800m), where he has attracted consistent market support since markets first opened and is currently an $8 hope on the third line of betting with

In order of hopefully rectifying the gelding’s crude racing manners, Payne has applied a few gear changes, with the blinkers going on first time and a bubble cheeker on his near side.

“The other day at Goulburn he should’ve won by ten lengths,” Payne said.

“He does a few things wrong, so we have put a gear change on him (blinkers and bubble cheeker). If it sorts him out, which it’s been doing in training, he’ll be very competitive.

“He’s an above average animal. If he puts it all together, he’ll go close.”

Assuming the three-year-old gets through tomorrow’s assignment unscathed, Payne will be looking to defend his Spring Champion Stakes’ crown in a fortnight (Oct 9) at Randwick after his smart mare Montefilia broke through for her maiden Group 1 victory in the 2020 renewal.

Permitting any hassles, Payne will then send the gelding south to contest the Victoria Derby, an extremely similar path to that of his multiple Group 1 winner Ace High.

Payne also believes his other three engaged runners on Saturday, are all in with a good chance. Bazooka in Race 1, Obvious Step in the Midway (Race 3) and Otelo who contests Race 4 at Goulburn.

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