Michelle Payne has had a bit of a hard slog over the last few months after serious injury put her out of the game for months.
She sustained damage to her neck at the start of the year and the road to recovery hasn’t always been easy.
The thing that she says drove her through though was knowing that Yosei waited for her at the end of it.
While she had to give up the horses first two rides this prep she’s back for race three in the Tatterall’s Tiara, it’s the biggest event and one Payne says Yosei is most suited to.
“I was hoping my comeback would be about the right time for her third run which is usually her best run so it’s worked out nicely,” Payne said.
The pair have struck up an impressive partnership over the last year or so and Payne knows the horse has a habit of lifting on the big stage.
They are one of the few teams going into the Tiara (formerly Winter Stakes), which have already earned a Group 1.
That came last year in the Sire’s Produce Stakes so there’s no doubt the ability is there if Payne can find it.
Yosei’s runs so far in Brisbane have been a little bit underwhelming but Payne isn’t concerned and is still super confident she’ll be on the winner this Saturday.
“I wasn’t too disappointed with her, she seems to be going really well and I haven’t lost any faith in her,” she said.
“This race on Saturday has been her main aim.”
Payne got her first feel of the horse as a three-year-old this week and says she can tell the horse has matured a bit mentally.
“She worked really well, really happy with her,” she said.
“She’s a bit older now, her work was better now than when she won the Sire’s in Sydney.”
One thing that hasn’t changed though is her size, something that could be a bit of an issue if she continues through weight-for-age races.
“She hasn’t grown at all, she’s a really little filly, it will be interesting to see how she comes on from her two year old season,” Payne said.
Like most she’s anxious about the barrier draw and knows everything will need to go to plan form the very beginning if she is to beat the older mare’s.
“Barriers always matter, especially Group 1 races, the main thing we’ve got to worry about is getting her out of the barriers and not giving away too much of a start,” she said.
Yosei will be ridden with blinkers for the first time in the Tattersall’s Tiara, Payne saying they’ll just sharpen her up a bit to stay a bit closer to the pace.