Trainer Patrick Payne will look to carry on the good work of long-time friend and mentor Guy Walter this spring, with dual-Oaks runner-up Zanbagh having recently joined the former hoop’s Plumpton training base.

Payne shared many successes with both Walter and Zanbagh’s owners, The Tait family, throughout his celebrated career in the saddle, and is hoping to continue their prolific partnership this Spring Carnival in his new role as a trainer.

Though saddened by the circumstances in which he received the horse, Payne was determined to honour Walter’s memory with Zanbagh.

“She arrived here with me a week ago,” Payne said.

“It all happened under the worst circumstances with Guy Walter passing away; this isn’t the way you want to get a good horse like this.

“Guy was such a great trainer, he looked after his horses so well.  She’s arrived at my place and is just beautiful and sound, a really happy horse. There’s a lot left in her.”

Payne was touched to receive a horse such as Zanbagh, having only embarked on his own career as a trainer in 2008.

“I feel quite honoured,” Payne said. “And a little bit under pressure because Guy was such a great trainer.

“I feel a bit of that pressure, but I’m very much looking forward to training her. I’d like to think that that there’s a fair amount of mutual respect between the Tait family and I; and let’s hope that continues.”

Runner-up in both the $1million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) and the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m), Payne currently has Zanbagh will be set for the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), for which she is currently a $35-chance with TAB’s early markets.

“She looks to me like an ideal Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup horse,” Payne said.

“We’ll head toward that path, but we’re going to be very open-minded throughout it.

“Everyone knows, it’s very deep water when a horse goes from three-year-old filly’s grade to when she’s racing against older mares. Sometimes it can take six months to adapt to racing against older horses, but we’ll see how she goes.”

Click here to view Zanbagh’s profile, and here to view the TAB’s early markets for the 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup