Michelle Payne won the 2015 Melbourne Cup with Prince Of Penzance
PICTURE: Getty images
By David Milnes 12:30pM 18 JUL 2016
MELBOURNE CUP-winning jockey Michelle Payne is poised to join the training ranks in her native Australia next month.
The 30-year-old became the first female to win the ‘race that stops a nation’ when steering Prince Of Penzance home last November but is currently sidelined with injury.
Payne is applying for a special dual jockey-trainer licence that comes into effect in the state of Victoria on August 1.
She said: “I’ve been filling out all the paperwork and I’m applying for my licence this month, so hopefully in August we’ll be ready to go. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a few years now and done as much as I can, learning from other trainers. Hopefully I can make the most of it.”
Recovering from injury
Payne is still recovering from pancreatic surgery after a nasty fall at Mildura in May and is yet to decide if or when she will resume her career in the saddle. If she does quit riding, she is already well set for a new challenge.
The five-time Group 1 winner said: “I’ve had a lot of time to plan retiring from riding, it’s a big transition. You dedicate your life to being a jockey and it’s very hard to give it away, walk away and do something else. It’s been a plan of mine for quite a few years now to get into training because I love racing, I love horses – I’m really passionate about it.”
Training base secured
Payne also revealed she has bought a base at one of the up-and- coming training areas of Victoria. She added: “I purchased a farm just next door to my dad’s farm in Ballarat and I’ve spent the last two years setting it up. I have plans to put in stables, a trotting arena, a round yard and some jumps. I think it’s the perfect set-up for training, so I’m looking forward to giving it a go.”