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Michelle Payne to ride at Magic Millions Carnival

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Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne has been cleared to ride Husson Eagle in the $1m Magic Million Sprint (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.

Michelle Payne and Husson Eagle, above, winning the 2016 Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Michelle Payne and Husson Eagle, above, winning the 2016 Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Payne linked up with Husson Eagle to win last year’s Magic Millions Sprint and was granted a clearance to ride at the Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission when they meet on Tuesday.

Since Racing Victoria granted Payne a dual trainer-jockey licence at the beginning of the 2016 – 2017 racing season, the high profile jockey has been refused a licence to ride in Sydney with Racing New South Wales citing integrity issues as the reason.

Payne was wanting to ride Husson Eagle, trained by her brother Paddy Payne, in the Listed $125,000 Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday as a lead up to the Magic Millions Sprint but the five year old will now be ridden by apprentice Michael Dee.

There was a chance that Payne would not be able to ride at the Gold Coast but she is buoyed by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission’s decision to allow her to participate in one of the great days on the Australian Racing Calendar.

“They’ve been most supportive and helpful in finding a pathway through and I am really grateful for that,” Payne said.

“I can’t wait to ride Husson Eagle on Magic Millions Day. Magic Millions Day is one of the great days on the Australian racing calendar, and it will be fantastic to be a part of it.”

Payne was able to fulfil her new ambition when she rode her first winner on a horse that she trains when Duke Of Nottingham scored a win in a 1200m Maiden at Swan Hill last Sunday.

Husson Eagle has returned from a spell in great form and scored his first win since his Magic Millions Sprint victory in January with a first up win in the Listed $120,000 Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 12.

Payne gained worldwide fame when she became the first female jockey to win the 2015 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the Darren Weir trained Prince Of Penzance.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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