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22/03/02 Payne Sought Out for Macau Derby Mount
r8ppayne.jpg (9568 bytes)Brilliant Melbourne jockey Patrick Payne will return to the country he took by storm during two riding stints when he rides a former Victorian galloper in next month's Macau Derby.

Payne, a championship winning jockey in Macau for the 1998/99 season with 106 winners, will ride a former Mick Price trained gelding in one of the country's feature events.

Easy Punch, who was known in Australia as Dollfuss, will be Payne's mount in the Derby.

Dollfuss won three straight races at Ballarat, Geelong and Sandown before being beaten in a photo finish in Melbourne when in the Price camp. The gelding, a winner in Macau three starts back is now trained by the brilliant Mick Kent.

Payne said he was looking forward to returning to Macau in an attempt to win the Derby.

"It's going to be good to return and try and win on Easy Punch," Payne told Cyberhorse. "I'm really looking forward to it."

The talented heavyweight rider said he jumped at the chance to ride in a country that he rode in with great success a few years ago.

"The Macau Jockey Club contacted me to ride in the race," Payne said of the deal which was struck in the "last couple of days".

"I will be riding for an owner of Mick Kent's. I rode for that owner when I was based in Macau," Payne added.

The Macau Derby will be run on Sunday April 7. Flamboyant French jockey Frankie Dettori has also been granted a visiting jockey's licence for the Derby Day program.

Payne said he will only be out of Australia for a few days and he will be looking at riding in Melbourne the following Saturday on his return.

PIC - Quentin Lang.

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