Payne To Reunite With Platelet In Gilgai Stakes

Michelle Payne will reunite with Group 1 winning mare in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Platelet is returning to Flemington for the first time in over a year in the Gilgai Stakes this Saturday.

Platelet is returning to Flemington for the first time in over a year in the Gilgai Stakes this Saturday. Photo by: Jenny Barnes

Payne was Platelet’s regular jockey in the early stage of her career, riding the mare to placings in both the Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m), but has not ridden the daughter of Strategic since 2011.

Since then Platelet has gone on to record victories in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) and the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) and Payne told RSN that she was delighted to get another opportunity on the five-year-old this weekend.

“I had a fair association with Platelet early on in her career,” Payne said.

“I started off riding her from her very first start and I ended up having seven or eight rides on her.

“It is lovely to be back on board and she looks a nice chance.”

Platelet returned to the races with a fourth place finish behind Kuroshio in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 14 and Payne is confident that she will be better suited on Saturday in the Gilgai Stakes when she steps-up to 1200 metres down the Flemington straight.

“She goes very well down the straight,” Payne said.

Payne is also set to ride Platelet’s stablemate Lake Sententia in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1410m) at Flemington and is hopeful that the Darren Weir-trained mare can improve on her ninth place finish behind Catkins in the Group 3 Sportingbet Sprint (1200m) at Caulfield on September 21.

“Up to the 1400m at Flemington is a huge plus,” Payne said.

“She got run off her legs over the 1200 at Caulfield but she was hitting the line nice enough.

“She has drawn fairly wide at Flemington but being the last race it might not be the worst thing.”

Payne is chasing her first ever Group 2 victory but has previously been successful at Group 1 level; winning the 2010 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), 2010 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and 2011 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) with Yosei as well as the 2009 Toorak Handicap (1600m) with Allez Wonder.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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