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Payne switches from Randwick to Caulfield

Michelle Payne
After being told she couldn’t ride at Randwick, Michelle Payne has picked up a ride at Caulfield.

Michelle Payne’s shock and disappointment at not being able to ride in NSW has been tempered somewhat by a Group Two chance at Caulfield.

Payne was booked for the John McArdle-trained Grey Street at Randwick on Saturday but only found out on Wednesday that as the holder of a dual trainer/jockey licence in Victoria, she could not take the ride.

Under the Racing NSW policy, Payne is classified as a trainer only in a state which does not allow dual licences.

“I wasn’t informed of this when I went for my trainer’s licence,” Payne told

“I was happy to go up and ride Grey Street who I thought had a great chance.

“Apparently that’s the ruling. I’ve later since read the ruling but I think it’s crazy because you have people in place to saddle the horse.

“Hopefully it can be sorted out because next year I might have something good enough to go up for the carnival and I’d like to ride it.”

Payne will now get to see how her Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance is progressing towards his title defence when she rides against him in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield.

Payne has picked up the ride on the Terry and Karina O’Sullivan-trained Dandy Gent in Saturday’s 2400m Group Two race in which Prince Of Penzance is topweight.

“I was rapt when Karina rang me when she heard I couldn’t ride in Sydney,” Payne said.

“That horse is going fantastic. He’s got ability and he’s at his right distance.”

Payne kept an eye on Prince Of Penzance when he galloped with his Darren Weir-trained stablemate Howard Be Thy Name between races at Warrnambool on Wednesday.

After recently returning to the saddle after suffering serious injuries in a fall in May, Payne hasn’t ridden Prince Of Penzance in any of his three starts this campaign.

“He looks fantastic and he couldn’t be going any better but you can’t dwell on these things,” Payne said.

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said the rule regarding dual licences had been in place since June.

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