Undefeated Rosehill trained filly Rag Queen looks likely to head to the spelling paddock after running in the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1100 metres) at Randwick on Saturday.
Rag Queen scored an impressive victory at her racecourse debut last month at Canterbury, but her trainer David Payne believes the best is to come from the two-year-old following Saturday's rich restricted listed race.
"I think we'll give her a break even if she wins or loses the Millennium," Payne told ACM Racing.
"I've got a very good opinion of Rag Queen. I'm confident her best is in front of her.
"I'm not sure about how good her rivals were at her debut but she could do no more than win.
"I've always known Rag Queen will be better over more ground than the 1100m of the Millennium.
"I was thinking of giving her a break after her Canterbury win but there's $2 million on offer in the Millennium so it was a no-brainer she would run in this race, especially after she pulled up so well following her maiden win.
"I think they will be a bit too strong for her on Saturday, but there's nothing wrong with having a throw at the stumps.
"I'll walk away happy if she can run in the top five knowing there's plenty of improvement once she matures."
Talented jockey Jason Collett, who rode Rag Queen to victory at Canterbury and in last month's trial at Rosehill, has retained the ride on Saturday.
"Jason is a top jockey," Payne said. "Jason really likes Rag Queen.
"He believes there's plenty of upside to the filly and that she'll be better over more ground in the future.
"It's great to get a jockey of Jason's ability and calibre to ride Rag Queen.
"It's always tough to get the good jockeys because the high profile trainers who have lots of horses in work have the first call on them.
"We've had a fair bit of luck with Jason riding for us over the years. He's ridden a few big race winners for us.
"I think he's an under-rated jockey. He can mix it with the best of jockeys going around."
Payne parted with $15,000 to purchase Rag Queen at the 2023 Inglis Gold Yearling Sale and was getting ready to attend the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale at Sydney's Riverside on Sunday.
"This should be an interesting sale," he said.
"I've kept a close eye on the results of the Gold Coast and New Zealand Yearling Sales over the last few weeks.
"The well-confirmed yearlings who are well bred are making good money and I would think that will be the same for the Classic Yearling Sale.
"Traditionally, it's a very strong sale with some yearlings sold going on to be very good horses in group and listed races.
"Trainers are always looking at replenishing their numbers with new blood and we're no different.
"I would like to think we may purchase a couple."
More than 20 years ago, Payne moved to Australia from South Africa seeking opportunities as a trainer.
He's managed to train 11 Group One winners in that time and set up a boutique training operation at Rosehill.
"I came to Australia with no horses when I was 54-years-old," he said.
"It's a tough game trying to match it with the big trainers, but the financial rewards are amazing if you can win a race.
"The prize-money on offer in New South Wales is incredible.
"Owners can pick up $29,000, if you run second in a minor city race while if you have the Bobs bonus you get $85,000 for a win.
"It's proven to be one of the best decisions I've made up in life was setting up my training operation in Sydney."
Mahagoni and Monfelicity, stablemates of Rag Queen, run in the first of 10 races at Randwick on Saturday.
Both have drawn wide barriers in the 1600m contest which makes it a tough task to win, according to Payne.
"I'm happy with how Mahagoni and Monfelicity are going into Saturday's race," he said.
"I can't really split them. The wide barriers have made it a bit tricky for them.
"Both horses are in great order and should be competitive in a very even race."
The $250,000 Group Three Eskimo Prince Stakes is another highlight on Saturday's 10-race program at Randwick.
The 1200m race has attracted an even field with Griff, Tom Kitten, Encap and Caballus the main chances.