Australian star Michelle Payne is set to saddle her first runner as a trainer
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Jon Lees 7:59AM 3 OCT 2016
MELBOURNE CUP-winning jockey Michelle Payne is set to launch a new chapter in her racing career with her first runner as a trainer this week.
Payne has declared Queen Of Zealand in a three-year-old maiden at Victoria country track Stawell on Tuesday. She is also due to ride the filly in the six-and-a-half-furlong contest after being granted a dual trainer-jockey licence, but plans may change due to heavy ground.
Payne said: “I’m keeping my options open because she’s drawn wide and there is a lot of rain around – I’m not even sure they will race. I’m hoping to run her this week but it depends where the best option is.”
Payne created history when she became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup last November on Prince Of Penzance. In May she suffered a career-threatening injury and needed pancreatic surgery, but she returned to race-riding last month and rode her latest winner on Sunday.
Michelle Payne (pictured winning the Melbourne Cup) rode her latest winner on Sunday
Payne added: “This is something I’ve been setting up my farm for the last four years and I’m very happy with the Ballarat locaation. I’m really looking forward to taking on this new challenge.”
Payne lost the ride on Prince Of Penzance this year but still hopes to be involved in the Melbourne Cup and has not abandoned ambitions to visit Britain, having had to scrap a Shergar Cup appearance in August due to her fall.
Payne said: “I had a winner [on Sunday] and I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things. Obviously I want to ride in the Melbourne Cup. At the moment it’s not looking promising but you never know.
“I’m really keen to do the dual-licence riding or training for a year or two. Hopefully the opportunity to come to England might arise again because that would be an unbelievable experience. I was devastated to miss out this year.”