Michelle Payne starts recovery after surgery

By: Mark Mazzaglia
May 25th, 2016

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne will be out of action for several weeks as she recovers from abdominal surgery for injuries she received in a race fall at Mildura on Monday.

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne, above, is recovering from abdominal surgery for injuries sustained in a fall at Mildura. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne, above, is recovering from abdominal surgery for injuries sustained in a fall at Mildura. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Payne was dislodged from her mount Dutch Courage at the 600m in the BenchMark 58 Handicap at Mildura on Monday after riding two winners and three seconds for her brother Patrick Payne earlier in the day.

The history making jockey was cleared of any breaks at the Mildura Hospital but was complaining of internal pain so she decided to transfer to Melbourne’s The Alfred Hospital for further tests on her pancreas and liver.

Following more scans doctors decided to operate and Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Des O’Keeffe said the surgery had gone well.

“They conducted a number of scans, and decided surgery was the best option for her,” O’Keeffe said late on Tuesday.

“That surgery’s gone well, it was successful.

“Hopefully the recovery from a fit, young athlete starts really well tonight.

“She’s heavily sedated at the moment.

“I’m sure she has mixed feelings – happy realising it could’ve been a lot worse, but also bitterly disappointed given the work she’s put in.”

Payne gained worldwide stardom when she became the first female jockey to win Australia’s most famous race, the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington, on $101 outsider Prince Of Penzance during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Following her Melbourne Cup winning ride, Payne was swamped with social and riding engagements including an invitation to ride at Royal Ascot, Ireland, France and Sweden in June, but the trip will now be put on the backburner.

Payne was reunited with the Darren Weir trained Prince Of Penzance last Saturday at Morphettville and at his first run since winning the Melbourne Cup and ran a mighty race to finish second to stablemate Tonopah in the Group 3 $150,000 Robert & Fay Gerard R A Lee Stakes (1600m).

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