Pleasure for Payne as Prince of Penzance wins Melbourne Cup
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the A$6.2 million ($4.44 million) Melbourne Cup on Tuesday as she rode rank outsider Prince of Penzance to a famous victory in Australia's richest and most prestigious race.
Jumping from barrier one, Payne bided her time until well into the final straight before pushing the 100-1 shot clear at the 200-metre mark and held off a charging Max Dynamite by three-quarters of a length.
Local stayer Criterion crossed the line third in the grueling 3,200 meter handicap at Flemington racecourse in front of a bumper crowd of 100,000 bathed in late spring sunshine.
Originally passed over at a yearling sale in New Zealand, Prince of Penzance was secured for $36,000 and brought to Australia to be prepared by local trainer Darren Weir.
The six-year-old gelding became only the fourth 100-1 chance to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155th running.
Thirty-year-old 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,'" Payne, the youngest of 10 children raised on a farm in rural Victoria state, said in a trackside interview.
"It turned out exactly how I thought it would. Continued...