Sixbysixtythree makes city debut at Flemington

Trainer Patrick Payne concedes it will not be an easy task for Sixbysixtythree to maintain his unbeaten record when he steps out at Flemington.

After three wins in succession, Sixbysixtythree makes his city debut on Saturday in the Furphy Festive Season Sprint (1200m).

Sixbysixtythree started his career as an odds-on favourite winning in maiden grade at Echuca in October and followed up by winning a Class 1 and then a Benchmark 70 grade race, both at Pakenham and both over 1200m, at his two subsequent starts last month.

Sixbysixtythree was due to make his debut in town at Flemington last week in a Benchmark 70 race but was withdrawn due to a foot abscess and on Saturday is jumping in class to run in a Benchmark 84 grade race.

Payne said Sixbysixtythree had overcome the foot abscess by Sunday and while he had missed some work, he should strip very fit on Saturday

“He’s done all the work, he’s a bit of a natural athlete, so I’m not worried at all,” Payne said.

“The only thing is he’s been pretty protected all the way through so far and now he’s racing horses that have raced in open company.

“It will be pretty deep water for him, and it will test him out.

“He’s got the ability, but some of these are pretty handy horses.

“They’re seasoned campaigners and they’ve got to a good rating because they’re pretty good gallopers, so it won’t be easy for him.”

Payne also has Sig Positano in Saturday’s race but said he was unlikely to start.

“Sig Positano will come off the bench if Sixbysixtythree has a reoccurrence of the abscess,” Payne said.

Sixbysixtythree has been backed from $3.90 into $3.70 with TAB for Saturday’s contest with the Danny O’Brien-trained It’Sourtime the $3.20 market leader.

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