Sam Payne opens training account with $30 outsider 

Canterbury trainer Sam Payne was delighted, but not as surprised as many punters were, when Anna Love provided him with his breakthrough win at Methven on Sunday.

Thanks to a patient and well-judged Jonny Cox drive, the Terror To Love three-year-old won the last at Mt Harding, paying $30.80 and $6.60.

"I couldn't believe what she was paying," says Payne, "it didn't make any sense."

"I had a few dollars on her."

It was win number two for the filly but the first for Payne since he took over her training from father Greg. It was Payne Junior's seventh start as a trainer. He's also has six wins as a junior driver.

"Before the race I was a bit concerned about her steering because she didn't steer very good last week but we have always had big raps on her."

Last year she was good enough to make the Harness Jewels at Cambridge, only to be scratched following a paddock accident.

On Sunday Anna Love was four back the fence with a lap to go and looked in danger of getting hemmed in before Acento galloped around the home turn and the gaps just opened up. She produced a determined finish to win by more than a length.

"It was very cool and a big thrill," says Payne.

Payne trains his six-strong team at his father's Leeston property. He also works at Ken Barron's stables. Ultimately he'd like to build up his team and go out on his own, and there are other goals as well.

"Winning a Listed or Group race - it doesn't get much bigger than that."

In the meantime Payne was pleased to get off the mark, and shared his success with his parents and partner.

"We had a wee celebration down at the local but not too many - we all had work in the morning."


Related Category News

29 November 2023

News Briefs - November 29

Until a week or so ago Wilson House had never driven more than two winners at any one meeting.

29 November 2023

HRNZ Statement on Operation Inca

Harness Racing New Zealand has seen reports highlighting the end of Operation Inca.