History-maker Payne wanted by breeder for Derby outsider filly
A breeder is hoping to realise his Derby dream by running a filly in the Epsom Classic – and he wants Melbourne Cup heroine Michelle Payne to take the ride.
Diore Lia, bred by Richard Aylward, owned by his sister Mary Todd, and trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam, made her debut at Epsom last week, finishing eighth of nine to record a lowly Racing Post Rating of just 23.
Should she take her chance in the world's most famous Flat race, it would inevitably lead to concerns that she could get in the way of better-fancied runners.
Next start at Lingfield
The maiden is set to have her next start at Lingfield a week on Friday, where Aylward hopes she can show improved form and demonstrate she would not be a complete no-hoper on the first Saturday in June.
Australian Payne, who became the first female to ride the winner of the Melbourne Cup in 2015, is due to visit Britain next month to ride at Royal Ascot, and Aylward says he has spoken to her about partnering his filly.
He hopes the publicity will help raise money for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, whose charity will be the beneficiary of any prize-money won and donations.
Aylward, who lives in London and works in recruitment, said: "Diore Lia ran last week at Epsom, but everything went wrong. She ran as green as could be. She was left a mile behind, then she took off and passed a few on the bend and was then outpaced.
"She showed signs of ability. She'll be out next Friday week at Lingfield, where she's in a mile-three maiden. She's by Yeats, but we ran her at a mile because we couldn't find anything else to run in at Epsom."
Payne won the Melbourne Cup on the 100-1 shot Prince Of Penzance and Diore Lia would be at least those odds on public form if she lines up at Epsom.
'An all-woman job'
Portuguese Lil, another filly, went off 500-1 in 1996 under Alex Greaves, who became the first woman to ride in the Classic, in which she finished last of 20.
Aylward said: "I spoke to Michelle. She's coming to ride Kaspersky [also trained by Chapple-Hyam] at Ascot, but she'll be here for the Derby. With Michelle coming it would be an all-woman job.
"Everyone is writing this filly off, saying she has no ability, but I think she has. In a fortnight's time we'll know more."