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November 29, 2022

Cinema: Ride Like a Girl

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Fostering local writing talent

Since 2001, the Byron Writers Festival Residential Mentorship has been inspiring writers on the path to publication. This year saw four writers spend a week in Possum Creek being mentored by Walkley Award-winning journalist and author, Sarah Armstrong.

Ride Like a Girl is an Australian biographical drama following the story of Michelle Payne – the first ever female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. History was made in 2015 as Payne crossed the finish line with 100-1 odds against her. The film takes us on the journey of Payne’s life. Horse racing was in Payne’s blood. Having grown up around horses, from her earliest moments she dreamed of winning the Melbourne Cup. Aimed to be empowering and inspiring, the film delivers this by cohesively including real life footage alongside pivotal scenes in the film. Critics had a lot of good things to say about the film, especially as it was director Rachel Griffiths’ debut film. Griffith’s successful film was backed up by a great Australian cast including the likes of Teresa Palmer (Michelle Payne), Sam Neill (Paddy Payne), Magda Szubanski (Sister Dominique) and Sullivan Stapleton (Darren Weir).

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  1. I might be biased as I was one of the few who backed the 100-1 pop. I thought the film was a beauty. I love it when women ride my picks because the odds are inflated enormously. Rebel Raider won the Derby with Clare Lindop aboard and that too was 100-1. Some say women are not as vigorous with the whip but some times soft hands are the best. The problem now is that there are so many female jockeys around that I feel my lucrative odds will disappear. I have followed the Payne family for decades now and their story is better than any Hollywood creation .I thought Stevie Payne stole the show and they made a huge coup getting him to play himself.The cast was superb and Magda Szubanskis cameo hilarious. Well done Rachel Griffiths and all involved. A great Aussie tale


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