High Chaparrral Holds All The Aces in Victoria Derby
Mark Smith - Saturday November 4

An amazing day out at Flemington for Coolmore stallions with the flagship Fastnet Rock claiming a Group 1 double with Merchant Navy in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and Shoals in the Myer Classic while Pierro chipped in with the Group III Carbine Club Stakes winner  Lavendi, but we were again handed another reminder, if one was needed, of the tragic loss of High Chaparral (IRE).

Earlier in the day, High Chaparral's son Cismontane earned a ticket to the Melbourne Cup with a thoroughly game performance in the Lexus Stakes but the big payday came with the dominant performance of the David Payne-trained Ace High in the $2 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).

Coming off an all-the-way win in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, Ace High enjoyed a cosy run, one of the fence, early on but when Weather With Me and Sully went forward after being caught deep, Tye Angland elected to come out and was caught three deep.

He was pushed out five and six wide on the home turn but Angland had not pushed the button.

Balanced up in the straight, Ace High put paid to the gallant Reliable Man (GB) gelding Sully, who was made to work from his outside barrier, by two lengths with Godolphin's Medaglia d'Oro (USA) colt Astoria a half-neck back in third with the Pierro colt Pissaro back in fourth. (photos Grant Courtney)

"It's obviously a huge thrill but I was thinking, 'man I'm in trouble where I am around the 1000– 800.

"I drew gate three, just the pace of the race, I said how well he relaxes but in a bunched field and they steady up, when they took off it fired my horse up and I couldn't hold him any more.

"I just had to count and wait and let him roll into it, just try and hold him for as long as I can to get the trip."

Former champion South African trainer David Payne said he had ticked off a win at Flemington over the carnival, which had proved elusive.

"I've always wanted to win a Group 1 at Flemington, the carnival here is unbelievable and the atmosphere is fantastic, I'm getting older and I was thinking 'gee is it ever going to happen."

A $130,000 purchase by his trainer from the Bell River Thoroughbreds draft at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Ace High advances his record to 4 wins and 1 second from 12 starts with earnings of $1,408,375

Carrying the colours of John Cordina's Summertime Thoroughbreds, Ace High was bred by Bruce Reid Racing and is the best of two winners from Come Sunday, an unraced half-sister by Redoute's Choice to stakes-winners That's a Good Idea and Kneeling out of the stakes-placed Sunday Silence mare Sunday Service.

Come Sunday died in October last year. Her final foal is a yearling colt by Hallowed Crown who was purchased by Pinhook Bloodstock for just $2,000 at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

Ace High is one of 19 Group 1 winners for High Chaparral (IRE) who is the sire of the 2009 Victoria Derby winner Monaco Consul. The son of Sadler's Wells died in Ireland in December 2014, shortly after returning from his southern hemisphere stint in Australia.