Illness forces Payne to miss big day as apprentice Doyle steps in
Michelle Payne, who made history by becoming the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, will not ride at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot today after being ruled out with a virus.
Hollie Doyle, who had been on standby, will replace her.
Successful on Prince Of Penzance in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, Payne was due to join Emma-Jayne Wilson and Hayley Turner on the girls' team, but misses out for the second year running after injuries forced her out 12 months ago.
The 31-year-old Payne, who denied swearing at Ascot officials when leaving a media event in London on Thursday, had been feeling unwell since travelling to Britain.
"It is with great disappointment that because of a virus I have contracted since arriving in England, I am unable to ride in the Shergar Cup," she said.
"I saw the doctor yesterday and we had both hoped the medication prescribed would kick in, but unfortunately that has not been the case and I am not well enough to compete today."
Payne, who now combines riding with training, added: "I had been looking forward to being part of this special event for a long time.
"Joining the girls' team had been had been a major goal of mine over the last 12 months, since missing the opportunity due to injuries sustained in a fall last year. I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement and would love to return another time."
Nick Smith, director of racing and communications at Ascot, added: "It's such a shame for Michelle that she's unable to ride today. She's been looking forward to it all year.
"We hope she will be able to participate in the event another time and in the meantime hope that the British audience get to see her next week at Newbury, where she's due to ride Summer Mile second Kaspersky. We are very grateful to Hollie for stepping in."
Apprenticed to leading trainer Richard Hannon, Doyle has ridden 35 winners in 2017 and will take over Payne's five mounts, which include the Harry Dunlop-trained Early Morning, who appears her best chance as he is 6-1 for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile (2.50).
She will be able to use her 3lb claim and was installed a 28-1 chance by Betway to be top jockey and 11-4 to be the leading female points scorer.
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