Michelle Payne, the first woman jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, delivered a no-holds-barred riposte to her doubters after riding Prince of Penzance to victory in the Australian “race that stops a nation” on Tuesday.
Thanking her trainer Darren Weir and Prince of Penzance’s owner, John Richards, for giving her a chance in the “chauvinistic sport,” Payne excitedly told television journalists, “I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.”
Payne, who is one 10 siblings — eight of whom are jockeys — rode wearing the purple, green and white of the suffragettes. “This is everybody’s dream as a jockey in Australia and now probably the world. And I dreamt about it from when I was 5 years old …” she said, of riding the 100-1 outsider to glory.
First held in 1861, The Melbourne Cup — always run on the first Tuesday in November — is Australia’s most prestigious thoroughbred horse race, the richest “two-mile” handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races. The first past the post receives AU$3.6m ($2.6m) distributed in the ratio of 85 percent to the owner, 10 percent to the trainer and 5 percent to the jockey.
Read the full story at the Age.