Lord Of Arms brings pleasure and Payne

FORMER leading Group One jockey Patrick Payne is aiming for better luck as a trainer at the Grafton July Racing Carnival than he had during his riding career.

Payne has set his promising four-year-old Lord Of Arms for Sunday's $45,000 Coffs Coast Prestige South Grafton Cup, marking a return to Grafton by the former jockey for the first time since 1995.

Payne, now among Victoria's leading trainers, with more than 40 horses in work at his Plumpton property near Melbourne, was out of luck when he made his only riding visit to the Grafton Cup carnival, in 1995.

“I rode Elegancy for Tony Vasil in the Ramornie Handicap and Jimmy Dash for Kiwi trainer Errol Skelton in the Grafton Cup,” Payne recalled.

“It was the only time I got to ride at the Grafton carnival and we finished out of the money in both races.

“Let's hope we have better luck with Lord Of Arms.”

New Zealand-bred Lord Of Arms has raced only 11 times for four wins up to 1612m, while his four placings include a third in the $100,000 final of the Silver Bowl series for three-year-olds over 1600m at Flemington last July.

He has raced twice since a Seymour win in January, resuming with a sixth over 1200m at Doomben before winning in Class 4 company over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast on June 19.

“Lord Of Arms is the only horse I sent to Queensland for the winter,” Payne said.

“He is owned up there but the main aim was to get away from the bad winter tracks in Melbourne.

“He is best on top of the ground, so I hope the weather is good at Grafton.

“He will also be an acceptor for the Eagle Farm meeting in Brisbane on Saturday, just in case it is wet at Grafton, but my preference is to run him in the South Grafton Cup.

“It looks the right type of race for him at this stage of his career and will give me a guide as to just how far we might be able to go with him.

“We have always looked on him as a promising type and have cuddled him for quite a while. Now the time has come to find out if he is going to make it in better company.”

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