It wasn’t exactly Flemington on the first Tuesday in November, but Michelle Payne picked a Cup race to celebrate her first win since returning to the saddle.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup heroine won the $30,000 Coleraine Bendigo Bank Cup (1800m) aboard the Luke Oliver-trained Birds Of Tokyo.
It was her first win since returning to the saddle two weeks ago at Sale, three-and-a-half months after a potentially career-ending fall at Mildura.
The Coleraine Cup was Payne’s sixth ride back, her previous best result of the comeback being a second placing aboard Miss Dubois at Sale last Wednesday.
The Coleraine Cup victory didn’t come easy for Payne, who looked set for a comfortable win aboard Birds Of Tokyo when well clear at the 250m, only to see the mare lose momentum after bouncing off the running rail inside the 200m.
The $5.50 chance quickly regained her composure and went on to score a half-length win over Profit Share.
The Coleraine Cup was Payne’s only engagement at Coleraine and today (Monday) she heads to Kilmore for one ride, Reigning In Paris (Race 5), which is also trained by Oliver.