Melbourne Cup winner Payne storms out of Shergar Cup media event
Michelle Payne, one of the headline acts at Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Cup, walked out of a media event in London on Thursday to promote the fixture.
The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey swore at an Ascot official after she was asked to stay longer having complained of feeling unwell.
The pioneering rider, who won her country's most famous race on 100-shot Prince Of Penzance in 2015, had joined four other riders at racing pub the Sydney Arms to launch the Ascot showpiece at which she is due to make her debut.
Payne, who with Shergar Cup regulars Hayley Turner and Canada's Emma-Jayne Wilson make up the Girls team in the international jockeys' team event, had agreed to give up four hours of her time to give media interviews.
At the end of the event all the visiting jockeys were due to travel back together to the Ascot hotel where they are staying, but Payne left separately and could not be contacted later.
Ascot organisers declined to comment.
Earlier Payne fulfilled part of her obligations by posing for photos with other riders and gave some interviews before departing. Her brother-in-law Kerrin McEvoy, who is captaining the Rest of the World team, was also absent having arrived from Australia not feeling 100 per cent.
This was not the first time a Shergar Cup press event has gone awry. In 2013, Joao Moreira, the Brazilian wonder rider, missed the media call after he went missing along with an overdue rental car.
Moreira was out of contact long enough for anxious Ascot officials to consider filing a missing persons report. Eventually Moreira checked in from his location, reportedly lost in the countryside somewhere near Newmarket, and later went on to ride a winner at Ascot.
The ups and downs of Michelle Payne's career
November 3, 2015
Hit the headlines worldwide following a historic 100-1 success in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington aboard Prince Of Penzance, becoming the first female jockey to win the Group 1 handicap event. In an famous interview shortly after the win, Payne blasted racing as a "chauvinistic sport".
May 23, 2016
Suffered a potentially career-threatening fall at Mildura, after the horse she was riding, Dutch Courage, stepped on her after she hit the turf. Payne was hospitalised for several weeks with a torn pancreas.
August 9, 2016
John Richards, the managing owner of the Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance, told Payne she should retire from the saddle as it emerged she had lost the ride on the Melbourne Cup winner.
November 28, 2016
Payne joined the training ranks and rode her first winner as a trainer, Duke Of Nottingham, at Swan Hill. In doing so, she became the first dual-licence holder to ride a horse they also trained to win a race in Victoria.
June 28, 2017
Payne was banned from riding for a month after pleading guilty to taking appetite suppressant Phentermine. She told the inquiry that she believed it was only banned on racedays.