• Michelle Payne’s win may be the greatest victory by a female jockey anywhere

    Date: 2019.06.19 | Category: 南京夜网 | Tags:

    Triumphant: Michelle Payne has scored the biggest win of any female jockey in any race anywhere in the world. Triumphant: Michelle Payne has scored the biggest win of any female jockey in any race anywhere in the world.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Michelle Payne before the Kyneton Cup. Photo: Joe Armao

    Triumphant: Michelle Payne has scored the biggest win of any female jockey in any race anywhere in the world.

    Triumphant: Michelle Payne has scored the biggest win of any female jockey in any race anywhere in the world.

    As far as female jockeys go, Michelle Payne is in rare air indeed after her stunning Melbourne Cup triumph aboard 100-1 shot Prince of Penzance in Tuesday’s race.

    Several women riders, here and overseas, have piloted big race winners, and a few have scored in group 1 events – the pinnacle of the sport.

    But in each racing jurisdiction there are a handful of major events, all with group 1 status, that transcend the ordinary classification. They are the races that are not just signature events in one country but prove irresistible to owners, trainers and riders from all over the world.

    Races such as Britain’s Epsom Derby, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France, the Kentucky Derby in the US, the Japan Cup and Melbourne Cup all hold that sort of cachet; they are the biggest of the big, the racing equivalent of tennis’ four grand slam tournaments, golf’s four majors, football’s Champions League.

    For female jockeys, even those at the top of their profession, it’s hard enough to get a ride in these races, never mind win them. And it’s arguable that now Payne has scored the biggest win of any female jockey in any race anywhere in the world.

    The only one that might come close is the victory by Julie Krone on Colonial Affair in the 1993 Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the US Triple Crown, but most fans would surely agree that Payne’s triumph trumps that as the race she won had a deeper field and much more exotic competition in the saddle.

    The racing world has broadened its horizons considerably in the past 25 years and winning the big prizes is now much tougher as the international dimension has increased. It’s not just horses from top European and Japanese stables that Payne had to see off on Tuesday, but the cream of the international riding crop.

    She was up against jockeys born in Italy (Frankie Dettori, who rode the runner-up, Max Dynamite), New Zealand (Michael Walker, partner of third placed Criterion), and Jim Cassidy, Irishmen Jamie Spencer and Colm O’Donohue, South African-born Chad Schofield, Frenchman Gerald Mosse, Norwegian-born William Buick, Brazilian Joao Moreira and Englishman Ryan Moore.

    She will always be remembered for her exploits on Prince of Penzance. But will she be the mould-breaker that some hope she is, or will the male jockeys reassert their dominance and continue to pick up the plum rides?

    There have been some breakthroughs earlier that have not been capitalised on. While females in the US, such as Rosie Napravnik, who has won Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup races, and Chantal Sutherland, who has captured a slew of big US prizes, have had great opportunities, female jockeys in Australia have not been given those chances.

    Payne won the Thousand Guineas on Yosei and the Toorak Handicap on Allez Wonder, both group 1 races. Kathy O’Hara in Sydney has scored at the highest level on Ofcourseican in the Coolmore Classic, a feat equalled earlier this year by Linda Meech, who won the same race on Plucky Belle.

    Clare Lindop in South Australia became only the second woman to win a group 1 race in Australia – and the first Australian born to do so – when she took the Adelaide Cup on Exalted Time in 2006. New Zealand rider Maree Lyndon had scored in the same race aboard Lord Reims in 1987.

    Lindop and Jamie Kah have won jockey premierships in South Australia, while Kate Mallyon has won the last two apprentice titles in Victoria.

    Lindop does get some big race rides but she also suffers the fate that Payne talked about on Tuesday, that of getting “jocked off” in favour of a man when the big events come round by owners who don’t trust female riders enough.

    She was the regular partner of Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed earlier in her career, but when it was time for the big tests interstate male jockeys climbed on board, with Craig Williams steering the horse to victory in the Caulfield Cup.

    Still, until Payne’s amazing triumph Lindop had perhaps the biggest claim to female fame at Flemington when she pulled off another remarkable upset by winning the Victoria Derby on 100-1 shot Rebel Raider in 2008.

    That win came a year after Nikita Beriman had landed another huge upset in the Emirates Stakes, another group 1 test, on the 100-1 shot Tears I Cry.

    All of these women riders have proved that when given the right horse they can do the business. That the prejudice against them still exists can be seen by the starting prices of the three big winners who have scored for the women riders at Flemington: all went off at 100-1.

    When Payne and her sisters in the saddle get rides that are strongly fancied, then maybe her call for female riders to be given the same opportunity as male will have been heeded.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.