Payne so close again

Cup win­ner nearly causes Oaks boilover

The Cairns Post - - SPORT - GILBERT GAR­DINER ed­i­to­rial@cairn­ face­­sPost www.cairn­ twit­­sPost

MICHELLE Payne might se­ri­ously con­sider giv­ing Ride Like A Girl di­rec­tor Rachel Griffiths a call to halt pro­duc­tion for the up­com­ing movie about her life af­ter yes­ter­day’s dar­ing run in the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flem­ing­ton.

The Mel­bourne Cup-win­ning jockey, whose life is be­ing doc­u­mented on the sil­ver screen, part­nered with 82year-old fa­ther-trainer Paddy to per­fec­tion to run third in the $1 mil­lion Ladies Day fea­ture.

Her “good ride”, slot­ting $101 out­sider Miner’s Miss in the box seat for the trip and then kick­ing on strongly in the straight, could tempt the Paynes to set the $10,500 wean­ling for a tilt at the Aus­tralian Oaks at Rand­wick next year, and po­ten­tially, a re­turn to Flem­ing­ton for the big one.

“Who knows?” Payne pa­tri­arch Paddy said when probed on the prospect of Miner’s Miss com­ing back for the Mel­bourne Cup next year.

“I thought she would run good (to­day) but you never know, do you?

“I think she has only started rac­ing her last three starts. In her first four starts she ran ter­ri­ble and couldn’t get within nine lengths of the win­ner.” Payne fin­ished on the heels of Oaks win­ner Aris­tia and the gal­lant run­ner-up Greysful Glam­our de­spite look­ing like drop­ping out of con­tention turn­ing into the straight.

But the pro­gres­sive stayer Miner’s Miss ral­lied un­der Payne, who fa­mously rode Prince Of Pen­zance to vic­tory in the 2015 Mel­bourne Cup, to re­main strong at the fin­ish. “Once she bal­anced up and the stay­ing power kicked in,” Payne said.

“She was so strong, I was hop­ing that we might run them down but a great run to get third.

“When I got to the 400 (me­tre) I thought if they weaken we might be a chance, but they stayed on too strong.”

Miner’s Miss was given lit­tle hope go­ing into the race, hav­ing only won an Avoca maiden last start by 4.5 lengths.

“She was peak­ing at the right time and she put in a re­ally good per­for­mance,” Payne said. “It was al­most like win­ning, for her to run on like that was a huge thrill.”

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