Payne so close again
Cup winner nearly causes Oaks boilover
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.”