David Payne Eyes Off 2012 TJ Smith Stakes With Honorius

May 4th, 2012

Trainer David Payne is aiming Honorius at the Group 1 The TJ Smith at Eagle Farm on June 9, 2012, after he won his first race start on Wednesday.

Honorius has won one of his six race starts and has earned close to $30,000 in prize money during his career.

Despite a lack of wins to his name, the two-year-old is no stranger to Group racing, finishing fifth in both the Group 3 Skyline Stakes and Group 3 The Schweppervescence earlier this preparation.

Payne is asking the public to forget Honorius’ seventh placing in the Listed Fernhill Quality two starts back, when he failed to handle the heavy track.

“His last start you can put a pencil through,” Payne said.

“He can’t handle the mud so in future we won’t be running him on a heavy track.

“But I think he’s going to be a nice horse once he gets over 2000 metres.

“He’s not a bad sort so I think he’s going to win a decent race.”

Jockey Glyn Schofield agreed with Payne’s assessment of Honorius’ wet track form after his maiden win at Canterbury on a dead-rated track.

“I rode him the other day on the wet ground and he wasn’t at home at all in it,” Schofield said.

“He was a little bit slow away and struggled the whole way, but today on the firmer surface he got a better grip on it and he’ll go a little bit further as well I would say.”

Payne will now look to prepare the colt for a The TJ Smith start next month.

“We might give him another start (in Sydney) or have a look at Brisbane,” Payne said.

“He’s nominated for the TJ Smith. He’d be a nice horse for that race.”

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