Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne will be happy to just be a part of Winx’s Cox Plate history when she rides English import Kaspersky in Saturday’s ‘Weight For Age Championship’ at The Valley.
Winx is a $1.16 with Ladbrokes.com.au to claim her third successive win in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) while the Jane Chapple-Hyam trained Kaspersky is one of the outsiders of the field at $91.
“The Cox Plate is one of my favourite races from growing up,” Payne told AAP.
“I haven’t missed a year, so to be out there on Saturday would be really special.”
“I don’t know if I would be the most popular person in Australia if we happened to beat Winx.”
“But I don’t know whether we have to worry too much about that.
“You can only do your best. We’ll go out there and treat it like any other race and give it our best shot and see what happens.
“It would be pretty special (to win).
“If we were able to be successful would be an unbelievable dream. But just to be out there is going to be great.”
Payne has had one ride on Kaspersky for a fifth in the Group 1 £685,000 Queen Anne Stakes (1 mile) at Ascot in England on June 20 while Luke Nolen was board the seven year old for his only start in Australia for a sixteenth to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 $500,000 United Petroleum Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Payne gained world wide recognition when she became the first female jockey to win the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington when she steered 100-1 chance Prince Of Penzance to victory in 2015.
Kaspersky has drawn barrier two in the nine horse Ladbrokes Cox Plate field while Winx will jump from gate six with regular rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Following two heart stopping wins at the beginning of her Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) both at Randwick, Winx was able to add to her Group 1 winning tally with a convincing win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16.
The Queen Of The Australian Turf then took her Group 1 winning record to fourteen with a runaway win in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7 and in the process extended her winning sequence to twenty-one.