William Payne has been interested in horses since he was a youngster. His father drove horse and carts around Sydney as part of his job, and William’s job was to help out with them. As William – or Digger to his mates – grew older and got a family of his own he’d continually find horses to put in the land behind his house, letting them graze on the luscious grass. He just liked having horses around. On top of this, the family liked a punt – Saturday was always a big day in the Payne household.

Recently William’s son Jim, and Jim’s wife Jan took a share in a filly who was nicknamed ‘Marley’ (Marley is a Magic Albert/Dancing Flame filly now named Miss Granger, who is in training with Michael Costa). William, Jim and Jan took a trip to see Marley and the filly took a quick liking to William, playing with him and constantly trying to eat his jumper. William was hooked. He found out that there was a share still available in her and jumped at the chance to get involved. It is the first time William has bought a share in a race horse and he’ll be turning 86 later this year. He’s looking forward to her first race – with high hopes of Marley being the ‘next Black Caviar’ – and is even going to treat himself to a new suit for the occasion.

We wish Marley (Miss Granger) and William all the best on their journey, and we hope to see plenty of them in the winners’ circle down the track. It all starts tomorrow when Miss Granger has her first trial at Warwick Farm. Good luck to all!

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