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Michelle Payne eyes Emirates for Kaspersky

Michelle Payne believes Kaspersky can cause a stir in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington in November after his excellent fifth-place finish in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Melbourne-Cup wining jockey gave the six-year-old colt a stellar ride in a hotly-contested 1600-metre opener at the five-day meeting, hitting the line strongly behind odds-on favourite Ribchester, who set a new track record.

Another steaming hot day in the London area ensured a fast-paced track on the straight mile course and after a slow start out of the gate, Payne had Kaspersky in the frame for a place coming into the home straight.

However, she wasn’t able to coax him past Mutakayyef, Deauville and Spectre, who finished in the minor places.

Payne believes her mount, trained by British-based Australian handler Jane Chapple-Hyam can make a splash in Melbourne, which is where he’ll head later this year.

“Obviously the pace was frantic, running a track record,” Payne said.

“But he really went to sleep out of the barriers, we were happy with that because we wanted him to be hitting the line.

“Fifth in a Group 1 against some of the best milers you could have thrown at you, so absolutely thrilled with that run.

“If he comes over for the old Emirates Stakes … he’s going to be a real live chance, so really rapt with the run.

“I’m just rapt that we ran a really respectable race and we’re going to have some fun going forward.”

The race’s previous winners include Australian track stars Chosir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast.

Payne, who was aiming to become the first female rider to win at Royal Ascot in 30 years, said she’d love to come back and ride again at the most prestigious meeting of the British season.

“You just couldn’t imagine it,” she said.

It’s like a whole different scene, which we think is massive. This is even a step above that.

“It was a huge thrill to be here and to run a good race. I was a bit surprised about the amount of media.”

South Australian trainer Jeremy Gask, who will return home this year after a decade working in the UK, saddled his last Royal Ascot runner in the Kings Stand Stakes.

But Gask’s sprint star, Medician Man, was unable to add a final win to his name in what was the last race of an 11-year-old career as he finished second-last in the Group One 1000 metre showpiece.

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