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Life as I Know It


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There are great people in life who give you inspiration to keep going and get through the hard times. I have been blessed to have such role models in my life. It would be a privilege if achieving my dream could inspire the next generation.'-Michelle Payne

About the Author

Michelle Payne entered racing aged 15, winning her first race in Ballarat on Reigning, a horse trained and owned by her father. She won her first Group 1 race, the 2009 Toorak Handicap, aboard Allez Wonder, trained by Bart Cummings. She rode the same horse in the Caulfield Cup the following week, becoming the third female jockey to ride in this race, and went on to ride Allez Wonder in the Melbourne Cup later that Spring Carnival. She rode Yosei to three Group 1 victories over the next two years. Michelle became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015 on the local one-hundred-to-one horse, Prince of Penzance, trained by Darren Weir and strapped by her brother Stevie. In January 2016 she was named The Australian newspaper's Australian of the Year. Film rights to her life story have been sold. She continues to be a working jockey and hopes to ride in the next Melbourne Cup. John Harms is a Melbourne-based writer, historian, and broadcaster. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, The Pearl, and nine editions of The Footy Almanac annual. He appears on ABC TV's Offsiders. He is the editor of the popular sports writing site www.footyalmanac.com.au.

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