Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne has finished third in the VRC Oaks for a stunning result on Miner’s Miss, a horse trained by her father Paddy.
The 2500m Classic for three-year-old fillies was won by Aristia after a dream ride from Damian Lane at Flemington.
Aristia launched her bid at the 600m and outstayed Greysful Glamour for victory in the $1 million race.
The win was very nearly Miner’s Miss and the Payne family in Michelle’s first Group One ride on a horse trained by her father – and picked together.
A $101 chance for victory by the time the race started, the horse was passed by Aristia with just over 200m to go but held strong to finish third.
“We were fighting back. She went terrific, had a lovely run from the barriers, settled really well,” Payne told Channel 7.
“Once she sort of balanced up and her staying power kicked in, she was so strong. I was hoping they’d weaken and we might run them down but a great run just to run third.”
Michelle and Paddy Payne both admitted they “don’t see eye-to-eye always” but the placing was an emotional result.
“So good. Dad and I picked this filly out together as a weanling,” Michelle said.
“We do a lot of work together, had a few arguments along the way. But it’s so good, can’t get any better than this.”
Paddy bought horse before she turned one, paying $10,500 after Michelle joined him at a weanling auction.
“We stood there for three days trying to pick a couple of fillies and it took us until about the the third or fourth day to find one we liked, for the right price,” Michelle said.
Miner’s Miss had held third midway through the race and the eventual finish there came as a surprise to many.
“Well If you’d have given me odds on Michelle on Miner’s Miss running down Qafila (who fell to fifth behind Maracaibo), I would’ve given you even longer than $101,” one Channel 7 expert said.
Aristia’s victory completed the Wakeful Stakes-VRC Oaks double.