Trainer David Payne hopes the form out of a Newcastle maiden will hold Select Royal in good stead when the gelding has another attempt to win his first race, this time at Randwick.
Select Royal was fourth on debut over 1200m last month in the race at Newcastle in which subsequent Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes winner El Dorado Dreaming ran second.
The Ben Smith-trained filly, who came from near last to produce an $81 upset over the Sires’ favourite Oohood, will be aiming for a second elite level in in Saturday’s Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
“I hope he’s improved as much as her. I’m sure he would have improved a couple of lengths,” Payne said.
“When we ran him at Newcastle he was very inexperienced so there should be quite a bit of improvement in him.”
Payne also has Georgia Hit in the All Too Hard Vinery (1300m) at Wednesday’s meeting to be run on the refurbished Kensington track.
The inside course has not been used for racing for 3-1/2 years and has been completely overhauled.
Georgia Hit heads to the races after four trials, her first in November.
“She needed time and she’s improved with every trial. This will be a good experience for her and if she can run a couple of lengths off them I’ll be very happy,” Payne said.
Bred by Payne’s long-time supporter and the owner of stable star Ace High John Cordina, Georgia Hit is the outsider of the field.
Payne has had only one juvenile winner this season, Momentum Factor at Warwick Farm last month.
“Most of mine are milers so we haven’t had a lot of opportunity,” he said.
Payne says Momentum Factor is the exception and he is excited about the gelding taking on the Clarendon Stakes at Hawkesbury on Saturday week.
He also has high hopes for another two-year-old Toulouse, who is in the spelling paddock ahead of a spring campaign.
“He’s a big, raw bugger and he could be a classic mile horse like Ace High later on,” he said.
A dual Group One winner in the spring, Ace High has been sent for a break after being nosed into second by Levendi in the Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 7.
“He’ll have a good six weeks out and then we’ll aim him at the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup. We might as well dream big,” Payne said.
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