What a month it has been for western Victoria in the field of sport. Ballarat-based horse trainer Darren Weir and his team, along with the training support team in Warrnambool, strapper Stevie Payne and of course Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne have done the electorate proud. It is an absolute testimony that this six-year-old gelding, Prince of Penzance, along with the hardworking group of racing professionals and enthusiasts, were able to outdo what the rest of the world had come to do.
Michelle Payne’s win is historic, but I particularly look forward to her fresh voice in challenging the racing industry and pursuing gender equality in the sport. May her winning race colours — the colours of the suffragettes; green for hope, white for peace and purple for dignity — continue to hold her in good stead as she continues to break new ground.