Payne sends Montefilia reminders to the big boys

“You talk like two horses go to Randwick,” Payne said. “It’s not a match race.

“They are obviously two excellent horses but they have to come into their own on Saturday.

“Montefilia won the Ranvet Stakes last year and if it becomes a lasting competition she will come off tough in the end.

“It’s going to be a real run because I think the Japanese horse [Unicorn Lion] will make it a properly run 2000m test and she will love that, especially when the track gets too soft.”

The Newmarket-prepared Dubai Honor has emerged as the favorite at $2.45 as bettors with a soft-ground preference rush to the English gallop.

Australia’s best horse since Winx, Anamoe, is $2.60 and the rest of the field is over $10. Montefilia has a $17 chance.

Payne believes Montefilia should go into the Queen Elizabeth as the winner of the last start, if not because of a slip at a crucial time in the Tancred Stakes, where she steamed down the outside to narrowly pass Arapaho.

“You could see in the race that she just slipped and lost that length and momentum at the 500 meter mark,” Payne said. “It was when she got into the race and she was good that she almost won it anyway.

“I was concerned that she might have injured her back in the incident but she came out really well.

“If this is her departure she will have no excuses because she has been very good this week and I am really happy with her. She’ll love a good pace and she’ll stay honest.”


Payne believes the owners are doing the right thing by selling her as a racer and breeder this season as she has just reached full maturity. But he would like to see her in training for another year.

“It’s up to whoever buys them. She’ll go to a good home because she’s a very valuable mare, but I’d love to win a Caulfield Cup with her again,” said Payne. “I think 2400 is her best distance and she’s run fourths twice in it.

“The first time she wasn’t ready for it and last year she just got lost in the field and had no luck.”

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Ryan Sederquist

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