Quayside picture puzzled

HORSE RACING

Quayside won, but not in the manner David Payne thought the filly would, prompting him to reserve a decision on his Keith Nolan Classic ambitions with the filly until later in the week.

In what was regarded as an audition for Kembla Grange's pumped-up $200,000 Group 3 feature next Sunday, Quayside squeaked home in a Class 2 Handicap (1500m) on Saturday.

Yet it left Payne's puzzle no clearer to being solved as he plots a path towards the Australasian Oaks in Adelaide next month. Entries for the Keith Nolan Classic will be taken on Tuesday.

"We'll nominate her [for the Keith Nolan Classic] and have a look," Payne said. "We want to see what's in the race and if it's too strong we might go elsewhere ... otherwise we'll back up."

Quayside looked the class horse in the low-key tune-up as she breezed past Joe Pride's Cushy Number, who was being set on an Australian Derby path.

Payne's four-kilogram claiming apprentice Blaike McDougall even had room to err in his ride on Quayside ($3), which rounded the home turn wide and then hung out in the straight.

Stewards warned McDougall about racing too wide on the turn and looking back unnecessarily at rival mounts in the straight.

The filly only just managed to beat a fast-finishing Bet Thehouse On It ($5), with senior rider Jeff Penza flailing to get the best out of Kerry Parker's local hope.

"I think she got to the front a bit early and he never really rode her that well," Payne said, of Quayside's winning effort. "[But] he's only a kid and learning.

"She probably should have won by much further, but when you put apprentices on, they can make mistakes while they're learning."

Cushy Number drifted alarmingly on track from $1.40 to $2.40 and seemed to travel sweetly in the run before not letting down. He finished third, 2½ lengths away from the winner.

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