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Honorius proves fitness for Premier's Cup
Caryl Williamson
17:25 AEST Tue Aug 27 2013

Honorius is battle scarred but not battle weary ahead of his bid for an elusive stakes win in Saturday's Premier's Cup at Rosehill.

The four-year-old needed stitches in a foreleg following his 1400m win last Saturday week which was part of a treble for his trainer David Payne.

He steps up another 400 metres in the Listed Premier's Cup, something Payne says will be to his advantage.

"Luckily the cut stayed clean and did not become infected so he has managed to get through without missing any work at all," Payne said.

"He got stripped and it looked quite bad initially."

Honorius is a dual Group One placegetter in the Spring Champion Stakes and Queensland Derby but his recent win was his first since he put two together as a late two-year-old.

Part of Payne's ambitions for him this season is to get a Group One win to enhance his prospects of standing at stud in South Africa where most of his owners live.

But the trainer will pick the easiest option.

"He won't be entered for any of the big races in Sydney or Melbourne," he said.

"I think we would be looking at Adelaide or Brisbane next year and hope they are not as strong."

Among his Premier's Cup opponents will be stablemate Winning Glory, another of the winning trio at the last Rosehill meeting.

The six-year-old claimed his second 1800m win at the track last start when he led all the way to beat Less Is More and Euryale who are also among the 18 Premier's Cup entries.

International Group One winner Bayrir is topweight for the race with 60kg with Honorius on 55kg and Winning Glory on the 54kg limit.

English St Leger placegetter Michelangelo has been given 56kg for his Australian debut which comes after three less-than-impressive barrier trials.

The Payne-trained dual stakes-winning three-year-old Criterion is equal topweight for the Run To The Rose on 58.5kg alongside Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep and Zoustar, second in the Group One J J Atkins during the Brisbane winter.


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