IF Lord Of The Song wins Monday’s Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank it will be without Patrick Payne as trainer and without a hint of regret from the man who trained the horse to consecutive wins in the famous race.
Payne had prepared Lord Of The Song to Great Eastern wins in 2014 and 2015 and recommended the 11-year-old be retired after he finished down the track in the Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool last May.
But the gelding’s owners disagreed and sent Lord Of The Song to Warrnambool-based Jarrod McLean.
Almost a year on, Lord Of The Song will carry not just the No. 1 saddle cloth in the famous steeplechase but will start as a legitimate chance after a strong second to Payne’s Zed Em in Saturday’s Von Doussa Steeplechase at Oakbank.
Zed Em will be scratched on Monday and saved for Warrnambool but Lord Of The Song, a luckless Von Doussa fifth, will run and presents Payne with an unusual scenario; the horse to beat is the one who provided him with his greatest moments as a trainer.
Zed Em was $2.70 in TAB fixed odds markets, ahead of Lord Of The Song ($3.20), who will now start a warm favourite. No Song No Supper was at $12 with Zed Em still in the race.
“There’s no room for jealousy in racing,’’ three-time Eastern winner Payne said. “If they (Lord Of The Son) win, good luck to them.
“I thought last year that the horse had put his hand up and said he’d had enough but Jarrod’s done a great job getting him back down at the beach.
“Put it this way I won’t begrudge them a win but I’d be a lot happier if No Song No Supper beat him.’’
No Song No Supper, last year’s Warrnambool Grand Annual winner, finished fifth in the Von Doussa but should have finished closer, Payne said,
“I thought he was huge,’’ he said. “He got tangled up in a fallen runner and lost probably four lengths.
“I then turned my attention to the other one (Zed Em) but noticed No Song No Supper had picked himself up and got beaten about nine lengths.
“My query is I’ve never really thought he was a quick back-up sort of horse but I had to run him Saturday to give him a look at the track.
“He seems to have come out of it great.’’
Originally published as Payne won’t turn back on victory Song
SOURCE: newsnow sport