Payne’s fine for tweet

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - MICHAEL MANLEY

TURF dar­ling Michelle Payne has been fined $300 af­ter stew­ards found her guilty of mis­con­duct for crit­i­cis­ing the state of the Flem­ing­ton track in a se­ries of tweets.

Payne had tweeted she was likely to scratch three-year-old filly Sweet Rock­ette be­cause the track was too firm as a re­sult of the rain not ar­riv­ing and the course not be­ing ir­ri­gated a day ear­lier be­cause of the weather fore­cast.

Her tweet con­cluded with: “And cop an­other fine for look­ing af­ter my horse. Ab­so­lute bulls--t!”

On ar­riv­ing at the course, Payne walked the track and de­cided to run Sweet Rock­ette, which fin­ished fourth. She said the de­ci­sion to run was bor­der­line and af­ter the race said it was still “a lit­tle too firm”.

On hand­ing down the penalty, chief stew­ard Robert Cram told Payne to think be­fore she jot­ted any­thing down. Were she charged again, the penalty would be greater, he warned. “You’ve got form in this area,” he told her.

Ear­lier dur­ing the in­quiry Cram had told Payne that her tweet was rude and in­so­lent.

Payne said she felt she had to re­spond as she was frus­trated to find the track hadn’t been wa­tered. Payne apol­o­gised for the tweet.

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