Payne will be riding into Coffs Harbour
SOME Melbourne Cup glamour is being reflected in these parts as Cups racing fever hits the North Coast and Northern Rivers.
History making trainer-jockey combination Darren Weir and Michelle Payne stopped the nation when winning the 2015 classic with Prince Of Penzance and have finally been enticed north to visit as the local racing season hits top gear.
Weir is spending this week at the Grafton carnival while Payne will speak at The Coffs Coast Advocate's Harbour Club function on Friday, July 20.
Only last year attempts were made to lure the jockey to the Coffs Coast for the Pink Silks meeting but her schedule did not align.
But this visit has sparked enormous interest.
Life has not been the same since the duo won the big race.
Only this week, Weir smashed his own record for the fourth straight year with the biggest number of winners by any trainer in Australian history.
With three weeks remaining, the Victorian champion has prepared 456 winners and could yet set a record even he will have trouble beating.
Over the past three years, the nation has taken Payne to its heart, along with brother Stevie, who strapped 'The Prince' on that famous First Tuesday In November.
She has begun transitioning to a career away from the saddle by taking out a trainer-jockey licence and while still taking rides has said her future in that sphere has an end in sight.
Already a best selling author, post-production is nearing completion on Ride Like A Girl, the movie telling the extraordinary story of growing up in a famous racing family at Miner's Rest near Ballarat.
Directed by Hollywood A-lister and Australian actor Rachel Griffiths, the movie stars Teresa Palmer as Michelle and Sam Neill as family patriarch, Paddy Payne.
Brother Stevie plays himself and has wowed those who have seen the rushes.
The movie is slated for international release in early 2019 with widespread sales already across the globe.