The father of the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup said he had faith his daughter could win the prestigious race despite the long odds.
After finishing second in the Moonee Valley Cup last week, Mr Payne said he was confident his daughter Michelle would be able to better her result in the race that stops the nation.
“I said to Michelle “I think he will beat the horse who beat you in the Melbourne Cup”, and she said “I think he will too.””
Prince of Penzance went into the race paying $101, the longest odds for a Melbourne Cup winner in 75 years.
While Mr Payne said he was confident in his daughters ability to win the cup on Prince of Penzance, he was suprised she managed to get a run in the cup this year at all.
“She went for a trip to America and came back in August, and I thought she was too late to get any good rides, but here we are and she’s won a Melbourne Cup only a couple of months later.
“I thought it’s a certainty that a girl is going to win a Melbourne Cup but I didn’t think it would be one of mine.”
Mr Payne said Ballarat based trainer Darren Weir had been “very good” to Michelle, and had backed her when others were sceptical.
“He’s been very good to her, but she’s won three group races in the last few weeks.”
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Following her victory, Ms Payne hit out at her doubters, labelling horse racing a “chauvinistic sport”.
Mr Payne, 79, has been involved in horse racing since he was 16, but said he would never have won a cup himself.
“I was always a bit too heavy.”
The Miners Rest resident said he expected the whole community would be pleased with the result.
“They’ll all be happy with Weiry (Darren Weir) winning the race, he’s done good.”
Mr Payne’s daughter was not the only star performer from the Payne family on the day, with son Steve strapping the horse and leading him out onto the track.
Steve, who lives with Down syndrome, has worked for Darren Weir racing for close to a decade.