All Payne, all gain as rank outsider wins historic Cup

The field in action during the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. Photo: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy.
The field in action during the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. Photo: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy.

MELBOURNE Cup winner Michelle Payne has taken a swipe at critics after becoming the first woman to win the race that stops a nation.

Payne, one of 10 children, said she was proud to show that women could prevail in what she described as a "chauvinistic sport".

She stormed home up the Flemington straight on $101 outsider Prince of Penzance to beat former Irish hurdler Max Dynamite, ridden by Frankie Dettori, by half a length, with Criterion three-quarters of a length away in third.
Trip To Paris was fourth with fellow UK stayer Big Orange fifth.

Gust Of Wind, the only mare in the race, was sixth.

Japanese stayer Fame Game was the pre-race favourite at $5 but ended up 13th.

 

Michelle Payne celebrates her winning ride on Prince Of Penzance with brother and strapper Stephen Payne. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.
Michelle Payne celebrates her winning ride on Prince Of Penzance with brother and strapper Stephen Payne. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

It was Darren Weir's first Melbourne Cup triumph and Payne said she was grateful to the former champion Victorian trainer for sticking to his guns.

"To think that Darren Weir has given me a go and it's such a chauvinistic sport, I know some of the owners were keen to kick me off and John Richards and Darren stuck strongly with me," Payne told Channel Seven.

"I put in all the effort I could and galloped him all I could because I thought he had what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup and I can't say how grateful I am to them.

"I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.

"This is everybody's dream as a jockey in Australia and now probably the world.

"And I dreamt about it from when I was five years old and there is an interview from my school friends, they were teasing me about, when I was about seven, and I said, "I'm going to win the Melbourne Cup" and they always give me a bit of grief about it and I can't believe we've done it."

Payne said she was surprised how well the six-year-old gelding was travelling in the big race.

"When I won on this horse as a three-year-old I thought "this is a Melbourne Cup horse" and he just felt like he would run the two mile out that strong but far out, I didn't think he'd be that strong,'' she said.

"He was still towing me into the straight. He just burst to the front and he was powering through.

"It's just unbelievable."

Winning trainer of Prince of Penzance Darren Weir is mobbed in the mounting yard moments after winning the Melbourne Cup. Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images.
Winning trainer of Prince of Penzance Darren Weir is mobbed in the mounting yard moments after winning the Melbourne Cup. Photo: Pat Scala/Getty Images.

Trainer Weir, who went close to winning a Melbourne Cup with She's Archie, which ran second to the great Makybe Diva, was delighted and surprised to get the win.

"You've gotta pinch yourself a bit," he said.

"I did say to the owners, it's hard enough to get into the race, let alone win it and just enjoy the day and hope like hell we can run top 10.

"I thought the horse was in great shape and there wouldn't have been many horses that had better preparations than him.

"He looked terrific in the yard, everything, all the Ts were crossed and Is were dotted, we did everything possible we could and we had him here in great shape and we thought we were realistically a top 10 chance."



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