Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne combined with her brother Patrick Payne to take out the 2016 Magic Millions Sprint with Husson Eagle at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Payne elected to settle Husson Eagle just behind the speed in the early stages of the Magic Millions Sprint and she waited patiently before she made her move at the 250 metre mark.
Wild Rain hit the front and looked like the winner, but Husson Eagle showed an impressive turn-of-foot when asked for an extra effort by Payne to finish over the top of his rival.
Payne said after the race that she was always confident Husson Eagle would be able to get the job done if he received an easy run in transit and he was thrilled to be able to ride a feature race winner for her brother.
“It is so great to be up here and to ride a winner on the day is just unreal especially for my brother Patrick,” Payne said.
“He is a cheeky little fellow and he has a short little sprint, but when he gets out and everything falls into place he gives you everything he has got and that is all you can ask for.
“He is in great order, it looked like it was going to work really well for him with the speed and he is a horse that can really sprint quick when he has a nice resting run.
“I’m just so glad it all fell into place and we were able to get there.”
Owner Joe O’Neill talked up the Magic Millions Sprint chances of Husson Eagle throughout the week and he was delighted to see the four-year-old get the job done.
O’Neill was quick to pay credit to the training performance of Patrick Payne and he revealed a lengthy connection with Michelle Payne – who he believes is now the best ambassador for racing in Australia.
“He is a wonderful horse,” O’Neill said.
“I said to Patty Payne a few years ago that I wanted to give him a horse to train, so I bought him this horse.
“Michelle before the race said that she wanted to sit him in fourth or fifth and bring him out for one crack at them at the 200 because he has a 200 metre sprint and I just said go out and do it.
“She has done it and it is fantastic.
“Michelle use to come and ride trackwork for us when she was 17 at Caulfield and she would be there every morning.
“We put her on and I just think that she is a credit to herself, her family and our industry.
“Our industry has had a tough year, but she has just taken it to a new level.”
Husson Eagle’s victory was just his fourth race win from 15 race starts and he has now accumulated just under $900,000 in prizemoney for connections.