THE rain did not stop Ballarat coming out in force last Friday to welcome jockey Michelle Payne and those associated with the great win in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
The southern side of Sturt was closed and chairs were placed strategically to get the best view. Trainer Darren Weir said the win was a great story all round.
“I didn’t know what to expect (of the reception) when they said they were going to have a parade and the amount of people that have turned up, it’s amazing.” City of Ballarat Mayor welcomed the contingent to Ballarat, saying, “To be a winner takes a heck of a lot of work and to Darren, to train such a horse as Prince of Penzance, and to Michelle to be able to ride Prince of Penzance and be able to be the first lady in 155 years to win the Melbourne Cup, well done.”
Taking to the stage Michelle said she was lost for words but started off by saying it was an incredible day to be in Ballarat. “I’m so proud to be here, a Ballarat girl, and to be a part of Darren’s magnificent team,” she said. “I just want to say how much I appreciate the opportunity that he has given me.”