Payne to saddle two Oaks hopes

Douceur and Bundle Of Fun give Patrick Payne two chances at claiming the Australasian Oaks.

Trainer: Patrick Payne
Trainer: Patrick Payne Picture: (Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

The scratching of El Patroness from the Australasian Oaks has afforded Patrick Payne a second starter in the Group 1 race at Morphettville

El Patroness was withdrawn with a foot abscess on Thursday morning paving the way for Bundle Of Fun to join stablemate Douceur in the 2000m race for three-year-old fillies on Saturday. 

Payne said Bundle Of Fun had probably deserved her spot in the Group 1 feature, but a condition of the race gave fillies placed top four in Group races a spot in the race ahead of her. 

As Bundle Of Fun had only won at Listed level, the Tasmanian Oaks in February, two lower rated horses leap-frogged her into the field. 

"The whole idea of the ratings system is to get your rating up to get into these races," Payne said. 

With Bundle Of Fun now in the race, John Allen has switched from El Patroness to ride the Payne-trained filly who is coming off a last start fifth at Caulfield on April 16. 

Douceur, who has been set for the Oaks by Payne following a spring campaign that saw her run third in the Group 1 Wakeful Stakes and second in the Group 1 VRC Oaks, beaten both times by Willowy, will be having her fourth start of the campaign on Saturday. 

A luckless first-up run was followed by a third to Daisies, a rival on Saturday, at The Valley last month before finishing tenth, and behind her stablemate, at Caulfield on April 16. 

But Payne is prepared to overlook that performance. 

"She had a big weight and getting back and being wide, it's a bad recipe for winning," Payne said. 

"She's pulled up fantastic from it. 

"Getting up to the 2000 metres is a trip she is looking for, as well as the set-weights, so from a trainer's point of view, she's in good order, so we've just got to trust her." 

El Patroness was second favourite with TAB prior to her scratching with My Whisper shortening into $4.60 favourite while Daisies is now the second elect at $8.50. 

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