It’s been a long first half of 2020, and we’ve all been stuck at home watching way more Netflix and other television than we would normally. While thankfully many of us are now out riding our horses and picking up our lives as best we can, there is one more television movie worth checking out.
In August, the Australian film Ride Like A Girl is set to make its small-screen debut. Directed by Aussie actress and first-time director Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding, Six Feet Under), it’s the true story of Michelle Payne, a young woman who fulfills her dream of becoming a jockey and riding in the legendary Melbourne Cup. Payne suffered a horrific fall early in her career, fracturing her skull, which meant a lengthy recovery period. But after making a comeback and winning other races, she first rode in the historic, gruelling two-mile race in 2009, where she finished 16th in a field of 23.
In 2015, Michelle Payne became the first woman to win the race in its 155-year history, riding Prince of Penzance, a six-year-old gelding that she had developed a relationship with. According to reports, the horse was bought for $50,000, considered a low sum for a racehorse that would go on to be a champion.
The film stars Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) as the Payne patriarch and single father of ten (!) children, many of whom went on to become jockeys. And in a bit of inspired casting, Stephen Payne plays himself, Michelle’s real-life older brother who has Down’s Syndrome.
Watch the trailer here:
Fun Fact: The popular male jockey “Olly” in the movie is a portrait of Damien Oliver, who was charged with sports misconduct for placing a $10,000 bet on a rival horse in a 2010 race which he also rode in. The rival horse Oliver placed bet on ended up beating the horse that he was riding, and Oliver made a $11,000 profit from his bet. He was served with an eight-month suspension upon conviction and was allowed to ride in races again on 13th September 2013 — the same year he immediately won the Melbourne Cup upon his return.
Ride Like a Girl is available on iTunes, Microsoft Store, Amazon Prime and other streaming services. A release date for Netflix Canada has not yet been announced.