Michelle Payne: would love to ride Prince Of Penzance in Melbourne Cup
Australia: Michelle Payne said it was “great to be back” after she finished fourth on her comeback ride at Sale racecourse on Sunday and declared her passion for racing to be undimmed after a period of recuperation from injury.
Payne, 30, was riding for the first time since splitting her pancreas in a bad fall in May which left her considering her riding future just months after she became the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup on 100-1 shot Prince Of Penzance.
After riding Lucky Liberty, Payne said: “I was really happy with how he went and how I went. It’s great to be back. I feel like I haven’t missed a beat.”
During her drive to Sale, a track two and a half hours from Melbourne and three and a half hours from Payne’s base in Ballarat, the rider said she became aware of how much she had missed race riding and that she would continue riding, including partnering her own horses after she received a dual trainer/jockey licence last month.
She told racing.com: “I had a lot of time to think in the car on my own. I love thinking about racing and how the horse will go. It’s so intricate. It’s a game of inches and that’s what I love about it. It’s one of greatest levellers you can have in life.
“The beauty of it is everyone has a chance to win a big race. I have always had a plan to ride and train my own horses and that’s what got me back.”
Whether Payne gets the ride again on Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup has not been revealed, but she added: “I would love to be back on his back but the owners don’t owe me anything and neither does the horse. I know the owners are concerned for my welfare and I appreciate that.”
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