On the day when Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, two horse women created their own magical memory at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club on Tuesday.
Moruya trainer Debi Saxton and apprentice jockey Melinda Kinny combined to record their first career doubles.
The achievement capped an exciting day for the pair.
“Michelle Payne had just won the Melbourne Cup, then Debi trains her first double and I ride my first; it was pretty good,” Kinny said.
“I was excited because I work very hard and to train a double is just as hard, so I thought it was a really great for both of us.”
“I’m still in disbelief actually,” Saxton said.
“It was girl power at Bega.”
Following ‘the race that stops the nation’, Kinny lined up on seven-year-old mare She’s Back at Bega in barrier two of benchmark 50 handicap (1400m).
James Curtis’ King Tides In, with Moruya hoop Shelley Walsh aboard, led She’s Back in the straight, but Kinny “put the stick away” and rode the mare hands and heels to nab the win by a nose.
“Mel’s ride on She’s Back was what got her across the line, she absolutely lifted the horse,” Saxton said.
Kinny said she had to “ask everything” of the horse.
“It was a really good ride by Shelley and I just got there on the day,” Kinny said.
A half-hour later Kinny rode a last-start winner, four-year-old gelding Red Hot Tango, in the class two plate (1200m) and won by two and-a-half lengths.
“I took him to Bega for education and the penny has dropped with him,” Saxton said.
Walsh also scored her second win in the past three weeks aboard the Bernie Connell-trained Ardimento, edging Kinny and the Greg Backhouse-trained Briefcase Benny in the benchmark 50 handicap (1600m).
“He travelled quite well behind them and we took the split up the fence and off we went,” Walsh said.
After her win, Walsh sat down to watch the Cup and said she was “pretty much in tears” when Payne won.
“It will do a lot for the industry and it shows we can compete with the boys,” Walsh said.
“Given the right chances we are just as good.”