Exactly 12 months ago, Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win one of the most famous races in the world. She was the only female jockey to ride that year.
It was a moment of triumph.
You probably remember watching Payne with her hands in the air, a look of exhilaration on her face as she gloriously galloped past the finish line. I certainly do; I remember thinking, ‘This is it. Another great moment for women in the industry.’
The racing industry stands as an old school sport founded on a strict class system of elites, tradition and money. It is one of the old industries that has maintained its patriarchal monotony well into the 21st century.
But Payne's win was going to be the moment that changed that, right?
The moment the men of racing had no choice but to look Payne straight in the eye, shake her hand and wish her congratulations as the glass ceiling shattered into thousands of pieces around her. They had to sit there gritting their teeth as she used her platform to share her now infamous message for the "chauvinist" people (in which she describes as "some owners") who doubted her to "get stuffed".
Today, a year later, Australia again turned its full attention to Flemington. But instead of galloping in the great race, Payne was sidelined to the stands — only a couple of weeks after receiving the prestigious 'Don' Award from the Australia Sporting hall of fame for the most inspiring sporting moment in the past 12 months. And it didn't come as welcome news.
In August, when the owners of Price of Penzance — the horse upon which she won last year's Cup — told Payne she wouldn't be riding this year, she responded with frustration.