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Payne with chances in Warrnambool features

No Song No Supper forms part of trainer Patrick Payne’s team for the jumps features at Warrnambool with the gelding to defend his Grand Annual Steeplechase crown.

Payne plans to have No Song No Supper and Slowpoke Rodriguez in Thursday’s $300,000 Grand Annual, run over a gruelling 5500m and 33 obstacles, as the trainer bids to win the race for a fourth time since 2012.

The Grand Annual is the biggest race during the three-day carnival which mixes flat and jumps racing, with the other features over obstacles the Brierly Steeplechase on Tuesday and the Galleywood Hurdle on Wednesday.

“I’ve got Zed Em for the Brierly, Angelology for the Galleywood Hurdle and Slowpoke Rodriguez and No Song No Supper for the Grand Annual,” Payne said.

“They all are really healthy and sound and well, so let’s hope they get their chance.”

Six-year-old Zed Em goes into the $125,000 Brierly (3450m) having won his two jumps starts this season.

He won at Warrnambool in March before adding the Von Doussa (3250m) at Oakbank on April 15.

Also at Oakbank, Angelology won the Classic Hurdle (3600m) over Now And Zen and has since had a start on the flat at Flemington to keep him ticking over for the Galleywood.

Payne said Angelology did a good job at Oakbank but felt he might have been fortunate to win.

“The second horse put in a couple of really bad jumps and our fellow jumped them cleanly,” he said.

“So we might have been lucky to win on that occasion, but he’s a really genuine and honest horse.

“It will be a harder field in the Galleywood but hopefully he’ll give a good sight.”

Slowpoke Rodriguez and No Song No Supper both went around in a staying race on the flat at Cranbourne on Friday night as they continued their build-up for the Grand Annual.

Payne won his first Grand Annual with Awakening Dream in 2012 before wins to Chapparo (2014) and No Song No Supper.

“I love the race,” Payne said.

The former top jockey doesn’t believe there is a stand-out this year among the 18 nominations which also include 2015 winner Regina Coeli.

“Looking at the nominations, any one of eight of those horses can win,” Payne said.

“So it’s going to be a very open field.”

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