The Michelle Payne Movie Trailer Will Make Your Blood Boil
A woman jockey??? A girl winning the Melbourne Cup???
These are just two of the questions posed by incredulous characters in the trailer for the Australian movie Ride Like a Girl, which captures the story behind the immortal 2015 Melbourne Cup, when Michelle Payne rode 100-1 long shot Prince of Penzance to victory.
Even the repeated use of the word "girl" for an established, well-credentialled horsewoman in her 20s reeks of disrespect.
But once you get past your initial anger at those who tried to block Payne's path to eventual glory, the Ride Like a Girl trailer will probably make you cry. Because this, at its heart, is an emotional tale.
To be released later this year ahead of Network 10's Melbourne Cup Carnival, Ride Like a Girl is a classic story of overcoming obstacles -- chief among them a lack of belief in female riders -- despite the fact that women now comprise up to 30 percent of Australian jockeys.
Aussie actor Teresa Palmer plays Payne, Sam Neill plays her father Paddy and in a brilliant piece of casting, Michelle's brother Stevie plays himself.
Stevie Payne, of course, was Prince of Penzance's strapper, who famously drew the coveted barrier one at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw -- a position which enabled Michelle to save precious ground during the race.
One obvious thing is missing from the trailer.
We speak of Darren Weir, the loyal trainer who stuck by Michelle Payne in the face of owners who wanted her removed, because he trusted both her ability and her affinity with the horse.
In a shocking real-life twist which the movie's makers would never have seen coming, Weir was recently disqualified for four years for possessing "jiggers" -- banned devices which can make horses run faster by stimulating them with electric shocks.
So is Weir still in Ride Like A Girl or has his character been written out entirely?
10 daily put that question to the movie's financial backer, Screen Australia, in February. We received a bit of a "yeah, nah, maybe". But according to the movie's director, Aussie screen legend Rachel Griffiths, Weir's still in.
"The truth is, he kept a woman on a horse in the Melbourne Cup which has only happened a handful of times," she told Lisa Wilkinson on The Project earlier this week.
Meanwhile, this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival promises to be even bigger than last year with plenty of excitement, colour and entertainment on and off the track. Tickets go on sale TODAY!
And in other news:
- General admission ticket prices for the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival have remained frozen at 2018 prices;
- Tickets offer exceptional value, with children under 16 accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge -- a rarity for a major event;
- The VRC funds the Melbourne Cup Carnival at a cost of $50 million which in turn attracts more than 300,000 racegoers to Flemington each year and injects almost $450 million into the Victorian economy;
- The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of Victoria’s biggest tourism events, drawing more than 110,000 attendances by people from interstate and overseas each year;
- The celebration kicks off with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on 2 November, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 5 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 7 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday 9 November;
- The jewel in the crown is the $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).