Payne becomes first female jockey to win Melbourne Cup

Michelle Payne has created history by becoming the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup when she rode home 100-1 outsider Prince Of Penzance today.

Her only other Melbourne Cup run came for Bart Cummings in 2009 on Allez Wonder.

Happy days as Payne walks into winner's circle
Happy days as Payne walks into winner's circle

She had ridden the Darren Weir-trained outsider Prince Of Penzance in 23 of it’s 24 starts.

The horse was 100-1 before the day and took everyone by surprise to get a lead halfway up the straight and hold off a fast finishing Max Dynamite.

AS IT HAPPENED: Melbourne Cup 2016, all the highlights

THE WRAP UP: Prince of Penzance wins the 2015 Melbourne Cup

SIGNIFICANCE: Payne's win means so much to women in sport

Following the race Payne took the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the sport's lack of gender equality.

“To think that (trainer) Darren Weir has given me a go and it’s such a chauvinistic sport, I know some of the owners were keen to kick me off,” Payne said immediately after the race.

“And John Richards and Darren stuck strongly with me, and I put in all the effort I could and galloped him all I could because I thought he had what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup and I can’t say how grateful I am to them.

'It's a chauvinistic sport'

“And I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.

“ ... I would like to say that, you know, it’s a very male-dominated sport and people think we are not strong enough and all of the rest of it, blah-blah blah, you know what, it’s not all about strength, there is so much more involved, getting the horse into a rhythm, getting the horse to try for you, it’s being patient and I’m so glad to win Melbourne Cup and hopefully, it will help female jockeys from now on to get more of a go.

“Because I believe that we sort of don’t get enough of a go and hopefully this will help.”

She also made special mention of trainer Darren Weir, also celebrating his first Melbourne Cup win.

"Darren has been such a great supporter of me for the past five or six years," she said.

"I kept showing up and giving my best and he gave me the opportunity.

"He's rewarded me. I can't thank you enough."

One of the best images in the lead-up to this year's race was Michelle’s brother, Stevie, picking the No.1 in the barrier draw on Saturday.

Stevie Payne selects the No.1 in the barrier draw
Stevie Payne selects the No.1 in the barrier draw

Stevie is the horse’s strapper and has down syndrome and was without doubt the happiest man in the winner’s circle when the horse and his sister came back after the win.

"I would like to thank my family, especially Stevie," she said.

"It's a dream come true to pick barrier one."


1915: Mrs E A Widdis becomes the first woman to own a Melbourne Cup winner, Patrobas.

1987: Maree Lyndon breaks ground as the first woman to ride in a Melbourne Cup finishing 20th on Argonaut Style.

2001: Sheila Laxon makes history as the first female to train a Melbourne Cup winner with New Zealand mare Ethereal.

2007: Two female jockeys ride in a Melbourne Cup for the first time. Clare Lindop finishes fifth on Dolphin Jo and Lisa Cropp ninth on Sculptor.

2013: Gai Waterhouse becomes the second female to train a Cup winner when Fiorente is victorious.

2015: Michelle Payne makes history as the first female jockey to win a Melbourne Cup on Prince Of Penzance.