Trainer Patrick Payne isn’t one to overplay the prospects of horses under his care too often and he is true to his form after the win of Gate Crash ($2.10) in the Ladbrokes Blended Bets Handicap over 1800 metres at Sandown on Monday.
This was the second win in four starts for the four-year-old gelding to add to two minor placings since the debut run at Warracknabeal in last July.
Breaking the maiden at Sale in August, then returning with a placing at Sale in mid-December, Gate Crash looks to be a horse going places after stepping up again at Benchmark 64 level.
“He’s a lovely, genuine horse,” Payne said.
“He was very green and wayward early but the penny seems to have dropped.”
While Payne was reluctant to place too much emphasis on the extent of any ‘upside’ that the New Zealand-bred colt by Roc de Cambes may have, jockey Craig Williams was happy to go a step further.
“He’s a raw, lightly raced four-year-old,” Williams said post-race.
“He travelled down the Sandown hill between horses with no problems.
“He’s nowhere near his mark and is an exciting four-year-old.
Gate Crash was the second winner of the day for Payne, Williams and for the Price Bloodstock ownership after Door To Door won the opening race, the Ladbroke It! Handicap (1600m) at $2.40.
Payne praised the Sandown track managers for irrigating the course on the morning of the meeting after temperatures in Melbourne exceeded 30 degrees in the days prior.