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How Michelle Payne galloped straight into Australia’s heart

Michelle Payne's name has been etched into Aussie sports folklore, but there is so much more to know about this sassy jockey - and her amazing brother.

Michelle Payne's name has been etched into Aussie sports folklore, but there is so much more to know about this sassy jockey - and her amazing brother.
The Melbourne Cup has been run 155 times, but it took Michelle, a girl from rural Victoria, riding the Prince of Penzance to become the first ever female to win the country’s most prestigious race.
“I just couldn't believe we'd won the Melbourne Cup, it’s a dream come true,” the 30-year-old told ABC after her win.
Sitting alongside her during the arduous press conference that followed the victory was Stevie, Michelle’s beloved brother and her horse’s handler.
“It was so funny when he let me go, he said, ‘don’t get beat, I got my money on you’ so I’m glad I could get the job done for him today,” she said about her brother, who has Down syndrome.
“I can’t believe it. It’s so good,” Stevie said after the win, before revealing that despite his excitement he’d rather keep the celebration simple.
“I’ll probably go back to the stables, have a few drinks," he said.
But for Michelle, who lost her mum when she was just six months old, her victory was about so much more than just her own achievement.
“It’s such a chauvinistic sport…I just want to say that everyone can get stuffed because they think women aren’t strong enough, but we just beat the world,” she mused after her win. Very quickly, “get stuffed” became the catchphrase for women everywhere in male dominated industries.
Although Michelle is under no illusions that it was anything but hard work and determination that got her over the line, she gushed about the one man who made it all possible - her dad Patty, who raised 10 children on his own after his wife’s tragic death.
“He taught us to have a good work ethic, and that’s really helped in my career… he’s just an amazing person…I’m just so grateful for my upbringing because I wouldn’t be here without that.”
Click through to see how Michelle Payne won the Melbourne Cup and our hearts, in pictures

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