Sibling trainer and jockey combination, Michelle and Patrick Payne, joined forces to win the Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) with Turner Bayou at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Jockey Michelle Payne produced the perfect ride, saving a great deal of ground on the inside to make sure Turner Bayou had plenty left in the tank for the concluding stages of the staying contest .
Payne lost a race on protest earlier in the day but impressed her toughest critic, big brother and trainer Patrick, with her ride on Turner Bayou.
“That was an excellent ride by Michelle,” Patrick Payne said after the race.
“Even in the race she lost on protest I thought it was a terrific ride.”
Turner Bayou showcased his staying credentials with the three length victory, in one of the few two miles races left on the racing calendar, and will now be targeted at the 2013 Adelaide Cup.
“He’s still a big raw horse who is learning what it’s all about but he’s got terrific staying ability,” Payne said.
“I was confident he’d be suited today because when the track is wet it becomes more of a staying contest and that’s his go.”
Michelle Payne admitted that she had been bothering her brother for weeks in order to gain the ride and said the chance to ride the Zabeel gelding was one of her main motivations to return to the races after suffering a serious spinal cord injury in a race fall last May.
“I was always going to come back, but he made me rush back a bit quicker because I wanted to be fit enough to ride him in the 3200m Adelaide Cup,” Michelle Payne said.
“As it turned out that race came up too quick for him, but I’m really grateful to Patrick for sticking with me and we’ve got a great result today.”
Pre-race favourite Ibicenco was never in the contest and finished a disappointing fifth, leaving the European imports racing career at a crossroad.