Mark Latham has a go at female Melb Cup winner

Controversial former MP Mark Latham has stirred yet controversy, this time for his remarks about Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne.

Payne, who rode Prince of Penzance to victory on Tuesday to become the first ever female winning jockey in the history of the race, called out the sport for chauvinism in post-race interviews.

Speaking as a panellist on Channel Nine’s The Verdict, the former Labor leader said Payne’s decision to bring up sexism in horse racing had been an “unusual move”.

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“These things normally stay in-house,” he said.

“In the excitement of winning the Melbourne Cup she’s excused anything, but it was certainly an unusual thing to talk about.”

Latham said Payne had been given a fair go in the horse racing industry, demonstrated by the fact she’d ridden a Cup-winning horse.

The ex-politician went on to say women’s sport was in shadow of men’s sport for a reason, as “nature has given men greater strength”.

“Spectators pay their money or watch TV, effectively giving up their time, they want to watch the very best,” he said.

Michelle Payne drew praise from many and criticism from some when she told chauvinists in the sport to “get stuffed” after her historic win.

“I know some of the owners were keen to kick me off,” she said of riding Prince of Penzance.

“To think that [trainer] Darren Weir has given me a go and it’s such a chauvinistic sport … I just can’t say how grateful I am to them.”

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