Lightly raced Duke Of Nottingham gave Michelle Payne her first winner as a dual-licenced trainer when she rode the gelding to victory in the 1200m Maiden Plate at Swan Hill on Sunday.
The Melbourne Cup winning jockey was given a licence at the beginning of this racing season by Racing Victoria to mix her riding with training a small team of horses at her complex, Nottingham Farm, in Ballarat.
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.
Duke Of Nottingham was only having his third race start and was sent out as the $4.20 favourite following two recent fifths at Ballarat and Kyneton.
Payne settled Duke Of Nottingham midfield before making a move coming to the home turn and the gelding steadily made ground in the straight to overhaul the leader, Struck Out ($12), to record a three quarters of a length win.
The Excellent Art four year old raced greenly in the straight and ran in several horses over the concluding stages but that didn’t stop Payne from standing up in the irons to salute her first win as a trainer.
Duke Of Nottingham is raced by family and friends and Payne tweeted her excitement after the race.
“Such an exciting day to win my first race as a trainer today with this beautiful horse. Love him.”
“So happy! Big thanks to everyone involved. Such a thrill, a beautiful horse, owned by a lot of lovely owners including my Dad & Loreto girls!” Payne tweeted.
Duke Of Nottingham is raced by family and friends and Payne was quick to thank her father, Paddy, and nephew Sam, for all the hard the work they did in helping her secure another career milestone.
“It’s a huge thrill and I have say a big thank you to my dad and my nephew Sam who help me out when I’m not there,” Payne told Racenet.
“You have to have good people helping you and it’s a big team effort.
“It’s a real thrill to get a winner today (Sunday), it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a few years now. I copped a clod at about the 600 (metres) but it doesn’t matter now.”
Payne believes that there are more wins in sight and expects the four year old to improve as he steps up in distance.
“He’s definitely going to be better over 1400 (metres) or further and hopefully sign of more wins to come,” Payne said.