Prince of Penzance shocks Melbourne Cup, gives Payne historic win

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TwinSpires Staff

November 3rd, 2015

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A huge crowd of 101,015 witnessed a dream come true as Michelle Payne rode Prince of Penzance to become the first female jockey to win Tuesday's Melbourne Cup (G1) and hand champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir his first Cup.

The victory secures a place in Australian racing folklore for both Weir and Payne, who has ridden Prince of Penzance in 21 of his 22 starts, and has always believed he could win an Melbourne Cup. The six-year-old was a $101-chance to win, scoring by a half-length in a time of 3:23.15 for two miles.

The unsung hero of Prince of Penzance's Melbourne Cup victory was his strapper Stevie Payne, the older brother of winning jockey Michelle Payne. Aside from his role as the horse's strapper, Payne crucially picked barrier one at last Saturday's barrier draw, which helped his sister to ride the race of her life. Stevie Payne, 32, said he always knew he was going to draw the inside barrier.

"Michelle said she would have been happy with barrier one or two but I said 'I'm going to get barrier number one' and I got it," Payne said. "It was very exciting, I'm so happy for (trainer) Darren (Weir), Michelle and all the owners.

Michelle Payne said her groundbreaking triumph was made all the more special because she was able to share it with her brother. She said Stevie, who has Down Syndrome, was a massive part of Weir's team.

"He's just as capable and can do just as good a job as any of the other staff," she said. "It's just great that he's been able to share this experience with me because growing up we were always so much closer being the two youngest of 10, we were often left to go and play on our own and it's just amazing to be able to share that with him."

Trainer Willie Mullins is already looking towards next year's Melbourne Cup after Max Dynamite's second placing in the A$6 million race. The Irish trainer said he was delighted by the six-year-old former-hurdler's run. Mullins said the horse, which had mixed both jumps and flat racing this season, would be an even better chance in 12 months time.

"I'm delighted to have finished second, especially considering the preparation that he came off this year," Mullins said. "He probably won't jump next year and I think his main aim next year will be to come back here again. I thought before the race that he had more improvement than Simenon who was fourth in (2013) and I still think he'll be even stronger next year."

Criterion finished third in the Melbourne Cup, with favorite Fame Game 13th in the field of 24.

Perennial Melbourne Cup runner Red Cadeaux has been cleared of a life-threatening injury, after undergoing surgery on a fetlock. He is set to undergo another procedure on a fractured fetlock on Wednesday, with his condition reported to be stable -- and his racing career is officially over after 53 starts.

"RV can confirm that diagnostics undertaken on Red Cadeaux at the University of Melbourne Equine Centre at Werribee this afternoon show the horse has sustained a fracture to his medial sesamoid in his left fore fetlock," a statement from Racing Victoria's Veterinary Services read. "The horse is comfortable with his leg in a splint and the fracture is stable.

"Dr. Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne advised that the injury is not currently life threatening, however the horse will not race again."

Red Cadeaux had earlier been taken to the University of Melbourne Equine Centre at Werribee following his run, which he failed to finish. Jockey Gerald Mosse pulled up the 10-year-old gelding prior to the winning post, and Red Cadeaux boarded a horse float shortly after.

The Ed Dunlop-trained stayer had just competed in his fifth straight Melbourne Cup, having three times been a runner-up.

(Photo: Getty Images)