David Payne has labelled his Thorn Park six-year-old Centennial Park as the “forgotten horse” in Saturday’s Missile Stakes showdown at Randwick, the locally-based trainer confident his galloper can return to form in the black-type feature.
The $125,000 Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) will be Centennial Park’s first-up run after a successful summer – autumn campaign that included a Group 2 victory in the Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in early February.
Their Expressway Stakes win when fresh off a three month spell was impressive considering they beat the likes of Group 1 winners and performers Love Conquers All, Hot Danish and Danleigh to the finish line.
Centennial Park also recorded a Group 1 second place during their latest prep when coming within a quarter of a length of Danleigh in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Their most recent run was seventh behind boom sprinter Hay List in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 23, and Payne is looking forward to getting Centennial Park back to race conditions on Saturday.
The horse has an outstanding first-up record making their double-figure odds at Luxbet in the Missile Stakes markets generous.
“I think he is always the forgotten horse,” Payne said of Centennial Park.
“I haven’t given him a trial this preparation, he is going in nice and fresh but he has certainly done enough work to win.
“He is ready and he is proven at this grade.”
Payne will also be represented in the Missile Stakes by One Cool Cat gelding Winter King is also racing first-up after their strong efforts during the autumn.
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