A breathing condition has meant Chamois Road has never been given a traditional three-month spell or longer.
On Saturday at Flemington the consistent Patrick Payne-trained five-year-old has his 32nd start in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m).
“He was supposed to be sold to Hong Kong but he’s got a condition in his airways. He’s called a 3B roarer, which is just a lazy muscle in his airways,” Payne said.
“And what we find with these horses, if you give them any longer than 10 days out in the paddock it actually completely paralyses and relaxes too much and then they’ve either got to have an operation or they are retired.
“So he has little freshen-ups in the paddock for a few days or goes down to the beach for a few days, but he’s actually never going to go and have a spell, unless his airways collapse.”
Payne said Chamois Road, the winner of nine races in lesser grade with another 17 placings, had “an unbelievable constitution”.
He stepped up to stakes grade last start in the Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and ran third behind Lord Of The Sky.
“We’ve had to place him fairly carefully but he’s gone up in the ratings now and sort of outgrown those ratings races,” Payne said.
“Last start was a Group Three but it’s fair to say it probably wasn’t an extremely strong Group Three. He was beaten comfortably but he held on for third so he did a great job. He did what he could.”
Chamois Road, who is at $7.50, hasn’t won from nine 1400m attempts but has seven placings.
“When he runs over 1200 he looks like a perfect 1400 metre horse,” Payne said.
“But he has struggled at 1400 in the past. Whether this condition that he has just limits him a little bit at the 1400, it might test him out a little bit.”
Payne says he is extremely happy with Chamois Road since his last start with his work as good as ever.
Payne has Invincible Al in Saturday’s Better Beyond Plate (1100m) with the gelding to wear ear muffs.
He wore them in a quiet Stony Creek trial on Monday with Payne’s sister and race jockey Michelle Payne aboard in a bid to get him to relax better than his past two starts.
“If Michelle gets him to race with his head in his natural carriage and he has a resting run, he can finish off really quickly,” Payne said.