VETERAN Camperdown trainer Denis Daffy sang the praises of young jockey Sam Payne after he guided Fabian's Spirit to win a benchmark 64 at Warrnambool on Thursday.
Payne weaved Fabian's Spirit through the field to defeat Lido Beach by more then a length with Star Finder back in third place in the 1200-metre race.
Daffy told The Standard he's surprised more trainers don't use the services of Payne.
"It was a top ride by Sam," he said. "I think he's a very underrated jockey and doesn't get the chances he deserves.
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"I came here quietly confident Fabian's Spirit would run well on the back of a good first-up run at Geelong.
"The Geelong run was last Friday but he pulled up so well I thought we might as well run him."
Fabian's Spirit was in work for three months before his first-up effort at Geelong and its that work which held the lightly-raced five-year-old in good stead for Thursday.
"I knew he was fit," Daffy said. "I've done a lot of work on the roads to put a strong fitness base into him.
"He's been very consistent since I started training him. He's had 11 starts for us which have resulted in two wins and six minor placings. With a bit of luck I think he could have won another couple.
"I've got nothing planned for Fabian's Spirit. I'll just take him home and give him a few days off before planning his next start."
From his 23 starts Fabian's Spirit has won five races earning more then $108,000 in prizemoney for his connections.
Jockey Jordan Childs took the riding honours with a winning double. He was successful on Opoho Dreaming and Frankly Harvey.
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