Prince of Penzance, a six year old gelding trained by Darren Weir entered the 2015 Melbourne Cup as a rank outsider with odds of 100/1.
But perhaps what the punters didn’t appreciate was the long-term association Michelle Payne and the horse affectionately known as “The Prince” had. As Michelle said, “it’s not all about strength, there is so much more involved, getting the horse to try for you, it’s being patient.”
Being patient is exactly what Michelle did. Michelle was able to settle the horse on the fence behind the leaders for much of the race, before electing to leave the fence with 1000 metres to go in search for a wider run. At the 800 metre mark the race had opened up for Michelle and by the 250 metre mark The Prince bolted for home.
In one of the most emotional moments in Australian sport, Michelle was greeted post race by younger brother and strapper Stevie.
As the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup in the 150 years of the famous race, Michelle said afterwards – “It’s such a chauvinistic sport. I know some of the owners were keen to kick me off, and John Richards and Darren stuck strongly with me, and I put in all the effort I could and galloped him all I could because I thought he had what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup. I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because they think women aren’t strong enough but we just beat the world.”