Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne has linked with her brother Patrick for Listed race success at Sandown, guiding Husson Eagle to an impressive first-up win in the Doveton Stakes.
Trained by Patrick Payne, Husson Eagle showed he was on target for a defence of the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint in January as he came from back in the field before sprinting clear in Saturday’s 1000m race.
“He is very good fresh, but it means he’s got a good preparation ahead of him,” Patrick Payne said.
“And I reckon this is the most furnished and mature I’ve ever seen him.”
The trainer said the five-year-old always tried really hard and is armed with a good finishing sprint when he gets the right run in a race.
“Michelle suits him because he needs a resting run and then he’s got a really good turn of foot,” he said.
“But you can get it wrong if he gets exposed too early.”
Husson Eagle ($9) settled back and Michelle Payne was able to make her move inside runners in the straight and then took a split before sprinting away to beat Miss Promiscuity by 1-1/4 lengths with a long head to Rock ‘n’ Gold third.
Husson Eagle is scheduled to have two more starts before the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast.
“He’s always been a really honest, gutsy little horse and today was even more impressive than I thought,” Michelle Payne said.