Yulong Knight steals the show amid Cup Day controversy
BRETT Dodson favourite In A Step was a controversial late scratching in the Eagles Plumbing Supplies The Blinkan Missit Showcase at Coffs Harbour, but Yulong Knight stole the show.
The Graham Payne-trained five-year-old gelding kicked strongly to win the $35,000 800m sprint on debut at his new home track.
While it was his third career win at start 17, it was his first win for Payne since the Stewart’s Point Tavern licensee bought him out of Victoria.
“We bought him online,” Payne said.
“He’s been very hard to place because of his high benchmark. It’s a shame Queensland is closing its border, they have some class 3 plates up there that would be perfect for him.”
He had given Yulong Knight two starts before today, at Port Macquarie and Grafton, and while he can’t go north he might head south to Sydney with him.
“We’ll have to wait and see how he pulls up,” he said.
“But we might go to town, he’s still eligible for a Highway. Or he might even be a Kosciuszko horse.”
Born and bred in Cessnock, Payne, a great country rugby league player in his younger days, now devotes his time to buying run down pubs and rejuvenating racehorses.
“It’s a great place to train too,” he said of Coffs Harbour.
“I’ve got great staff and the club is great. They, and Tim Saladine (club racing and general manager) will do anything for you.”