Canberra Racing chief executive Peter Stubbs thinks Racing Australia should rule on Michelle Payne

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Canberra Racing chief executive Peter Stubbs thinks Racing Australia should decide on the rules preventing Michelle Payne from riding in NSW. Photo: Rohan ThomsonCanberra Racing chief executive Peter Stubbs believes Racing Australia needs to step in and legislate on the dual licence issue that is preventing Melbourne Cup-winner Michelle Payne from riding in NSW.
Nanjing Night Net

Payne holds jockey and training licences in Victoria, but not all states allow for dual registration and she has threatened legal action after Racing NSW confirmed it would continue to disallow it in its state.

Currently Victoria, South Australia and parts of Queensland allow dual registration and Stubbs thinks the national body needs to make a decision either way to ensure consistent rules across the country.

In the wake of her historic win in the Melbourne Cup last year, Canberra Racing tried to lure Payne to Thoroughbred Park earlier this year for Black Opal Stakes Day on Super Sunday – the ACT’s biggest day of racing of the year – but she was unable to attend.

Payne shot into the history books when she guided $100-1 long-shot Prince Of Penzance to victory in the race that stops a nation to become the first female jockey to win it.

She’s since started training a small number of horses as she looks to life after riding, with Victoria introducing a dual licence earlier this year.

But she doesn’t have a ride in this year’s Cup, with Katelyn Mallyon – on the Lloyd Williams-owned Assign – the only female jockey in the race.

But Racing NSW rejected changing its rules to also allow people to hold both a jockey and training licence, effectively banning her from racing in that state.

Since the ACT adopts Racing NSW’s rules, it means she’s also unable to ride in Canberra.

Stubbs felt Racing Australia needed to take the reins on the issue.

“I don’t have a problem with the rule, it’s been a long-standing rule … but it’s something that should be looked at nationally rather than state by state as [with] a lot of issues in racing,” he said on Sunday.

“That’s my view on most rules of racing. If it’s going to be adopted it needs to be a national approach.”

While the Black Opal is Canberra’s biggest day, it’s closely followed by Melbourne Cup Day and Stubbs said Tuesday was shaping as one of the ACT’s best ever meets on the first Tuesday in November.

He said they had strong fields across the eight races, allowing them to add an extra race to the usual seven.

Meanwhile, Canberra trainer Matthew Dale’s sprint star Fell Swoop is set for the $1 million Darley Classic (1200 metres) at Flemington on Saturday after pulling up well from his impressive second in the Manikato Stakes (1200 metres) at Moonee Valley last start.

It will be his final run of the spring before having a spell to get ready for the autumn and another crack at the TJ Smith Stakes (1200 metres).

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