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Michelle Payne bewildered by NSW policy

Michelle Payne is baffled by the rule that will prevent her riding at next year’s Sydney carnival where she hopes to have three-year-old Queen Of Zealand as an Oaks contender.

Racing NSW on Wednesday reaffirmed its policy dual trainer/jockey licence holders would not be able to ride in the state.

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Payne was one of the first in Victoria to take out a dual licence when they came in this season.

“I’m a trainer and a jockey here. There’s no problem,” Payne said.

“You do your job as a trainer. You do your job as a jockey.

“It’s the same rules as anywhere. If you don’t follow the rules you’re in trouble.

“I cannot fathom where they are coming from and I really hope it can be resolved because there are horses that I want to ride in Sydney in the carnival.”

Payne said trainers such as Darren Weir and Gai Waterhouse don’t attend every meeting but have people in place to saddle their horses.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said the board had decided to stick with the rule introduced in June, citing integrity concerns, but he said it was not directed at any individual.

“This decision is no reflection upon Michelle Payne, for whom we have the utmost admiration and respect,” he said.

“However, we have to look beyond the individual when we believe that there are concerns related to integrity and perception of our industry.”

Payne said she was not told about the restriction when she applied for her dual licence in Victoria.

Racing NSW said it had informed its interstate counterparts of the policy when it was introduced.

Dual licences are allowed in Victoria, South Australia and parts of country Queensland.

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