Michelle Payne fourth on return

Michelle Payne says she feels like she’s never been away although there has been no fairytale result to her return to competitive riding.

The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey suffered a career-threatening injury in fall in May when she split her pancreas.

But she said she was back where she belonged after riding Lucky Liberty, who was also returning from injury, into fourth place in a race at Sale on Sunday.

“I was really happy with how he went and how I went,” Payne told racing.com.

“It’s great to be back. I feel like I haven’t missed a beat.”

Payne said the drive to the country Victorian track gave her time to think about why she wanted to keep doing what she has done for the past 15 years.

“I had a lot of time to think in the car on my own,” she said.

“I love thinking about racing and how the horse will go.

“It’s so intricate. It’s a game of inches and that’s what I love about it.

“It’s one of greatest levellers you can have in life.

“The beauty of it is everyone has a chance to win a big race.”

Whether she gets the chance to ride Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance in the big race again this year is still a question.

But after being granted a dual trainer/jockey licence she will be riding her own horses.

“I have always had a plan to ride and train my own horses and that’s what got me back,” she said.

“I would love to be back on his (Prince Of Penzance) back but the owners don’t owe me anything and neither does the horse.

“I know the owners are concerned for my welfare and I appreciate that.”

Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au

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