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Aces High In Spring Champion Stakes

David Payne's promising youngster was the standout stayer during the Sydney spring

October 27, 2023

The 2017 edition of the Spring Champion Stakes was as thrilling as you could get.

Ace High and Tangled, the two favourites in the market, paired off down the Royal Randwick straight on 7 October in what was a vintage edition of the race.

Ace High had gone into the race off the back of a dominant win in the Gloaming Stakes (1800 metres) two weeks prior. Leading throughout at Rosehill Gardens, the David Payne-trained runner went into the Group 1 as a $3.10 favourite.

Jockey Tye Angland adopted similar tactis to the Gloaming and that was to go straight to the front and dictate terms.

Booting clear rounding the home bend, the son of High Chapparal looked as though he was going to win by a big margin but Tangled had other ideas.

Chris Waller’s representative, ridden by Blake Shinn, had been in the second half of the field and ducked backed to the rails on straightening.

Eating into the margin, Tangled fell narrowly short of pegging back to the fav in what proved to be a memorable finish to the feature.

It would be Ace High’s third career win and set the foundation for a successful tilt at the Melbourne spring, where he would go on and capture the Victoria Derby.

His autumn campaign wasn’t as fruitful but ended with a narrow second to Levendi in a stirring ATC Derby battle.

Success in the Hill Stakes at Royal Randwick on 29 September 2018 would be the final time the entire would grace the winner’s circle.

His final race start was in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes at Rosehill on 30 March 2019, where he trailed the field.

Ace High retired with a record of five wins and four placings from 28 starts for earnings of $2,264,325. He was raced by the Cordina family.

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