Payne’s win was like no other

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JOCKEY Michelle Payne weathered a few handicaps before winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup on Prince of Penzance.

The film Ride Like a Girl, which traces the 24 year old’s life before the track as well as her victories, is being screened at Sorrento on Friday (27 September) to raise money for Sorrento/Portsea/Rye unit of the Red Cross.

Former Australian of the Year, businessman and philanthropist Simon McKeon will open the screening which starts at 6pm with fish and chips and a glass of wine.

Ride Like a Girl – directed by Rachel Griffiths and starring Sam Neill (Paddy Payne), Teresa Palmer (Michelle Payne) and Sullivan Stapleton (Darren Weir) – traces Payne’s life from the tragedy of losing her mother Mary in a car accident when she was six months old to becoming the celebrated first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

Payne was raised by her father as part of a family of 10 at Miners Rest, near Ballarat and from a young age set her sights on winning the race that stops a nation.

She started working in racing at 15, winning her first race on a horse trained by her father.

Her time on the track was limited after a fall in 2001, left her with a fractured skull and bruising on the brain. Racing authorities agreed to extend her apprenticeship time because of her injuries.

Mr McKeon, a friend of Richard Keddie, one of the producers of Ride Like a Girl, spent time on set during filming.

“It is a beautifully rounded film which deals with so many issues, including the determination and commitment required to excel at an elite sport level, Me Too, single parenting a large household, returning from a life threatening injury, intellectual disability, the fascinating bond between Catholicism and horse racing, a young woman taking on a man’s world,” Mr McKeon said.

“And the best part is that it’s all true.”

Mr McKeon said it was “heart-warming” to see Michelle Payne’s brother, Stevie, play himself in the move. Michelle Payne dedicated her cup win to her brother, who has Down syndrome and works in in the racing industry as a strapper.


Ride like a Girl, 6pm Friday 27 September at the Athenaeum Cinema, Sorrento.

Opening meal and movie $50. 

Tickets available at the theatre or call  0419 101 397.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 24 September 2019

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