Payne to be a key player in Sandown jumps

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August 3, 2019 - 12:57 PM

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Patrick Payne will not take any of the accolades should New Zealand jumper Tallyho Twinkletoe win the Grand National Hurdle at Sandown.

Tallyho Twinkletoe has been mainly prepared for Sunday's race by Kevin Myers in New Zealand.

He arrived at Payne's stable on Wednesday needing to jump in front of Racing Victoria stewards to get his ticket to start on Sunday.

Payne took Tallyho Twinkletoe to Ballarat on Thursday where he jumped hurdles and then went over the bigger fences to get cleared to also run in the Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat on August 25.

A nine-year-old, Tallyho Twinkletoe is lightly raced and will be lining up for just his 20th start on Sunday.

Tallyho Twinkletoe strung together three wins early in his jumps career including the Grand National Hurdle at Riccarton in 2015 before spending almost three years on the sidelines.

He has won his only two jumps starts since, one over hurdles at Wanganui and his latest over the bigger jumps at Te Aroha with Sunday's jockey Mathew Gillies aboard.

"He's come over very fit but I don't know much about him," Payne said.

"He qualified for the hurdles and the steeples on the same day and I thought he jumped the steeples a bit better.

"But he'll run over the hurdles on Sunday and make his way to the steeples next time."

Stablemate Killarney Kid had won his previous three starts over hurdles before a faulty jump late in the race at Pakenham on July 21 forced his retirement from the race.

Payne said he pulled up well from that run.

"It went pear-shaped but at least we've still got a horse and he's still got fresh legs," Payne said.

Payne hopes to qualify Killarney Kid over the bigger jumps so he can join Tallyho Twinkletoe and Slowpoke Rodriguez at Ballarat.

Slowpoke Rodriguez runs on Sunday in the Crisp Steeplechase and Payne believes he may be a shade underdone.

"A couple of recent jumps trials were called off when he was entered," Payne said.

"I have a bit of a feeling he'll be a bit ring-rusty on Sunday but it will hold him in good stead for the Grand National."