Top jockey to miss Royal Ascot following serious fall

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  • Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, will miss Royal Ascot after sustaining serious abdominal injuries in a fall.

    Michelle made history on 3 November last year when she rode the 100-1 shot Prince Of Penzance to victory in Australia’s famous race.

    The 30-year-old was admitted to Mildura Base Hospital on Monday (23 May) afternoon with acute abdominal pain after she was unseated from Dutch Courage in the seventh race of the day at Mildura racecourse.

    A statement from the Victorian Jockeys’ Association, in Australia, said she is not expected to ride again during the 2015-16 season, which ends on 31 July.

    Scans showed she had no serious structural bone damage.

    Michelle was later transferred to the Alfred Hospital in a serious but stable condition, where later tests and scans revealed she had a serious injury to her abdomen.

    The statement added that her surgery today went “successfully” and she is expected to remain in hospital for at least a week.

    Yesterday Michelle tweeted her thanks to all her well-wishers.

    Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executibe Des O’Keeffe said she is receiving “the very best of care” at the Alfred Hospital.

    “On behalf of the Payne family, I’d like to extend their appreciation to everyone for their well wishes and support for Michelle,” he said.

    “Today’s news of an extended absence from the saddle though is unfortunate for Michelle who was looking forward to riding overseas during the winter months, including at Royal Ascot.

    “I know that her determination will see her on the road to recovery in the quickest time possible.”

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    Bernard Saundry, Racing Victoria’s chief executive, added: “On behalf of the industry and its 70,000 participants, we extend our best wishes to Michelle who has continued to be an amazing ambassador for the sport since her victory in the Melbourne Cup.

    “We wish her the very best in her recovery from her surgery and we look forward to seeing her back trackside in the future.”

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