Michelle Payne joins Seven

Racing’s undisputed No.1 team has pulled off a massive coup with Australian racing icon Michelle Payne joining Seven as an expert commentator for the biggest month of the Spring Racing Carnival,

Payne became a national hero when she was the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup aboard 100-1 longshot Prince of Penzance in 2015, a landmark triumph that saw her awarded the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s prestigious Don Award as the sportsperson who had “most inspired the nation”.

A member of the famous Payne dynasty, Michelle has racing in her blood. And she will bring unparalleled experience and racing know how to Seven’s LIVE and FREE coverage as the winner of 761 career races as a jockey – including five Group 1 victories – and as a highly promising trainer.

Payne says it’s a thrill to join Seven’s highly decorated Racing team:

“Delighted to be joining the team at Seven – and getting back to the track for the next month to broadcast some of Australia’s most prestigious racing. It’s a thrill to work alongside icons like Bruce McAvaney and Hamish McLachlan, and to witness our finest racing and bring it to you at home.”

Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin commented:

“Michelle Payne is a national treasure. What she achieved aboard Prince of Penzance in 2015 will never be forgotten and is yet to be repeated. As one of Australia’s leading jockeys and now as a trainer who’s again making people sit up and take notice, Michelle has a rare and deep understanding of the racing industry, while her love of thoroughbred racing is infectious. To add her to a team that already stands alone as the best in racing is a huge win for Seven – and racing fans.”

This Saturday is also a milestone day for Australian racing. After much tireless work from the Melbourne and Sydney-based racing clubs, Seven’s commentary team returns to the track in both capital cities for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, with fans set to enjoy the very best coverage of the Spring Racing Carnival.

Australia’s pre-eminent broadcaster Bruce McAvaney will again lead Seven’s coverage on Saturday, which also features Hamish McLachlan, prominent Victorian trainer Henry Dwyer and Payne at Caulfield, while Katelyn Mallyon will be across all the action on a Group 1 day at Randwick.

Once again bringing fans all the news and interviews will be racing’s best trackside reporters, Jason Richardson at Caulfield and Sky Racing’s Lizzie Jelfs at Randwick, while Emma Vosti and Kate Waterhouse will also be at Caulfield and Randwick respectively to keep viewers across all the latest fashions and styles around the course.

On Saturday, the nation’s best three-year-olds will take centre stage on Seven, with the milers contesting the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the stayers on display in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.

In the Caulfield Guineas, Golden Rose winner Ole Kirk looms as the horse to beat, but the Team Hawkes colt will have to contend with a strong field headed by Blue Diamond Stakes winner TagaloaKing’s Legacy, who was third in the Golden Rose, and unbeaten Chris Waller-trained colt Mo’unga.

At Randwick, the Spring Champion Stakes is set to be a hotly contested affair between the likes of Flight Stakes winner Montefilia, unbeaten gelding Love Tap, who was an impressive last-start winner in the Gloaming Stakes, and Stutt Stakes runner-up Cherry Tortoni.

The other highlights at Caulfield on Saturday include the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and Thousand Guineas (1600m), while at Randwick the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) also loom as thrilling contests.

Throughout October, the biggest names in racing will do battle for racing’s most glittering prizes, including the world’s richest race on turf – The Everest, the Caulfield Cup, the 100th edition of the Cox Plate – on a historic day of sport that will also include the first ever night AFL Grand Final – and, in a fitting finale, the Grand Final for four-years-olds, the Golden Eagle.

Fans can look forward to the following marquee meetings on Seven later this month:

  • October 17 – Randwick: Everest Day; Caulfield: Caulfield Cup Day
  • October 24 – Moonee Valley: Cox Plate Day; Randwick: Bondi Stakes Day
  • October 31 – Rosehill Gardens: Golden Eagle Day