The next generation of the Payne dynasty achieved a significant career milestone at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.
Apprentice Sam Payne became the latest city-winning rider from the family of top jockeys after taking out the Ticketek Handicap (1000m) aboard Sammi Jain for his master Lawrie Mayfield-Smith.
Payne is keen to follow in the footsteps of his uncle Patrick and aunty Michelle, who have been Group One trailblazers for the family.
“They’ve always been there to give me some good advice but riding racehorses was always something I wanted to do,” Payne said.
Payne says Ballarat will always be his home town but he isn’t in any hurry to return south.
“Ballarat’s a very cold place and the weights sticks to you when you’re there but I’m finding it a lot easier to manage in the hot weather up here,” he said.
Payne has ridden Sammi Jain in her three-start career and is confident she can work her way through the restricted grades.
Meanwhile, jockey Damian Brown has recommended trainer Robert Heathcote keep Written Above All to sprinting after his emphatic win in the BMAG Handicap (1300m).
Heathcote was considering stepping the gelding up in distance but Brown has urged a rethink.
“When he gets over a bit of ground he tends to tug a bit hard and he doesn’t breathe that well during a race,” Browne said.
“He choked down in one of his earlier starts at Doomben but when he’s in a race where there’s genuine tempo and he can get into a nice rhythm then his breathing is a lot better.”
Written Above All ran last at his previous start but Heathcote said the four-year-old struck himself during the race.
“He had some speedy cuts in an unusual and sensitive spot on the inside of his sesamoid so I gave him a week to freshen up physically and mentally,” he said.
Browne completed a clean sweep of winners from his only three rides.
He was also successful aboard San Jose for Heathcote and Daisyodee for Stewart McKinnon.