Payne Eyeing Taj Rossi Series Final with Alamonteel

Trainer Patrick Payne has been thrilled with the form and class displayed by two-year-old Alamonteel through her short racing career so far and is confident she will lay a great account for herself in the Murray Cox Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Patrick Payne is thrilled with the condition of Alamonteel ahead of Saturday's Murray Cox Handicap at Flemington. Photo: Daniel Costello

Patrick Payne is thrilled with the condition of Alamonteel ahead of Saturday’s Murray Cox Handicap at Flemington. Photo: Daniel Costello

Yet to finish outside the first three through her three start career so far, Alamonteel was arguably most impressive at her most recent start; producing a strong final straight kick to finish second by standout runner El Greco.

Confirmed to line up alongside the Peter Moody-trained gelding again on Saturday, Payne told Racing Ahead the Alamosa filly will likely carry a different approach into the Flemington rematch.

“She’s a tough little thing and she’s handling her training really well,” Payne said.

“She’s not big or robust or anything like that, she’s quite small and wirey.

“Even if she runs a place she’s doing a good job.

“We weren’t going to lead the other day but I thought Mark Zahra made the right option when he strode to the front and I thought she had a really lovely run in front, she just backed off the speed and just sort of choofed along. El Greco was just too good.

“If she takes up that’s all well and good but I wouldn’t be surprised that in the bigger field there will be a bit more tempo and she might fit in somewhere.”

Yet to confirm a specific path for the filly beyond Saturday, Payne hinted the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) on July 11th may figure as her final start this time before returning to the paddock.

“Somewhere along the line we’d like to test her in one of the better races as a three-year-old.

“At this stage she’s very forward to we’re making the most of her two-year-old ability.

“All the owners like a bit of black type with these fillies so there’s a race for her over a mile in a couple of weeks and that might she her out.

“I don’t think she has the class of one of the good Oaks, but maybe we can look next preparation at like the Tasmanian Oaks or the South Australian Oaks, something like that.”

Alamonteel currently rates as outright second-favourite for success at Flemington on Saturday at a quote of $7 with Ladbrokes Australia.

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Jared Timms

Jared graduated with a journalism degree in 2011. He is a keen sports fan and has enjoyed many accolades for his lively writing style and comprehensive coverage of major sporting events and horse racing. Today, you can find Jared cheering on his beloved Manchester City with a beer in hand.