Michelle Payne created history as the first woman jockey to win the Cup, steering 100-1 chance Prince Of Penzance to a half length win, and surprising trainer Darren Weir who’d only hoped for a top 10 finish against the strong international field.
Reactions to the win around the world have been overwhelmingly positive with many outlets describing the historic win as a victory for women in a male dominated sport.
“I can’t say how grateful I am (to the people who helped me), and I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world,” Payne said.
Starting at $101, Prince Of Penzance also made headlines as one of the longest-priced winners in Melbourne Cup history.
Payne said she hopes her win in the nation’s biggest horse race helps kids realise that dreams do come true.
“That’s what I would like to say to everybody, that every young kid growing up, female or male, you have to follow your dreams because dreams do come true and it’s a fairytale really how it all worked out with my brother, Stevie,” said the fresh-faced jockey, the morning after winning the race that stops the nation.
Speaking after the race yesterday Payne praised trainer darren Weir for backing her: “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 (part-owner) John Richards and Darren (Weir) stuck strongly with me.”
The Darren Weir trained horse swept to the lead at the 200m, before holding off a late challenge from Irish stayer Max Dynamite. Criterion came third.
Meanwhile shortly after the win #getstuffed was appearing on twitter.
#michellepayne doing for herself her family her dear stripper brother and women jockeys ! That’s right all her critics….. #getstuffed
— April Barker (@ab_aprilb) November 3, 2015
Payne is one of ten siblings, but it was her brother Stephen Payne, who has Down syndrome, that added to the positive story of success.
Stephen has been Prince Of Penzance’s strapper and the joy of the win was clear on his face yesterday.
Prince Of Penzance became only the fourth 100-1 chance to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155th running.
Payne, 30, had to push the six-year-old gelding after he came out of gate one slower than she would have liked but soon had him in a better than midfield position with English horse Big Orange leading the pack form Excess Knowledge.
The youngest of 10 children raised on a farm in rural Victoria, Payne felt the win was pre-ordained: “I actually really had a strong feeling I was going to win but I thought ‘ah, don’t be stupid, it’s the Melbourne Cup.
“It turned out exactly how I thought it would.”