New Mum and former jockey Jess Payne was planning to return to race racing but having a Melbourne Cup winning partner might now change all that.
“Maybe I won’t return to riding now – he can pay all the bills and we will have another bub!” Payne laughed, after watching Jye McNeil win the $8million Melbourne Cup with his first ride in the great race.
It must have been an omen this year when Payne delivered the couple’s first baby – son Oakley – on the horse’s birthday August 1.
Three months later, baby Oakley will have a Melbourne Cup trophy to play with when he isn’t busy with his other toys.
The coronavirus pandemic has created a weird world and so it was in the couple’s Melbourne household on Tuesday with parents still unable to visit due to Melbourne’s ring of steel.
Payne is no relation to 2015 Melbourne Cup history maker Michelle Payne although she gets the misconception a lot with people thinking she is a member of the famous family.
To confuse matters further, she used to ride winners for trainer Patrick Payne at one stage.
But there was certainly no confusion in her household – just joy – when Payne watched on TV with baby Oakley and dogs Ollie and Bester as McNeil achieved every jockey’s boyhood dream when winning the Cup on Twilight Payment.
“I went from sitting in the couch nearly in my pyjamas and just watching the race go around and then I started jumping around,” Payne said.
“I was just in the lounge room just with Oakley and the dogs, I like to keep it basic just in case I do get emotional.
“I was standing in front of the TV and had Oak in my arms.
“He didn’t cry until the very end, I think he was shock like I was.
“Of course, I’ve been here changing nappies while Jye has been riding the Melbourne Cup winner, but that’s what Mums do.”
Jockey Jye McNeil after winning the Melbourne Cup. Pic: Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Payne and McNeil and baby Oakley shared a bacon and egg brekky on Tuesday morning, keeping their race day routine similar, although the day was vastly different from Melbourne Cup day last year when Payne was still riding.
“Last year I rode on Melbourne Cup day, I think it might have been at Echuca,” she says.
“To go from riding on a Cup day to all of a sudden being at home on your own with a new baby and watching your partner win the Cup, it’s just surreal.”
Twilight Payment ridden by Jockey Jye McNeil returns to the mounting yard after the Melbourne Cup. Pic: Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Originally published asA year like no other for Jye
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