Anywhere Michelle Payne goes, a mountain of people follow.
That is the life of the Melbourne Cup winning jockey one year on from her triumph.
“You actually couldn’t believe how much a race could change your life – it’s basically changed it in every way,” she said.
“You can’t really go anywhere without people wanting to grab a photo or being recognised.”
Derby Day was case in point for Payne.
She was pulled away from the stables to make an appearance at the Tabcorp Marquee in full formal dress, and then rushed back to get into her jockey gear to ride Queen of Zealand in race two.
The three-year-old filly she will be riding is also trained by her.
She managed to secure her dual licence this year, a major milestone for the career jockey.
She admits the dual role can have its downs, especially when the buck ultimately stops with her if the horse doesn’t race well.
“I’m buggered,” she said, contemplating the responsibility.
The star jockey will also race at the Melbourne Cup, but hasn’t secured a ride in the $6.2 million race.
With lots of internationals lining up and only a couple of local horses, it was hard task.