BALLARAT trainer Andrew Payne admitted his sister almost gave him a heart attack in yesterday's Class 1 handicap (1700m).
The jockey was told by her brother to save Bachelor Royal for the last few hundred metres and she followed his instructions.
But it wasn't until the finish line when Michelle and the three-year-old gelding sealed the race, edging out Gem Of Kingston by a half-neck in a thriller.
"She almost gave me a heart attack," Andrew laughed. "She did leave it bloody late."
But he was quick to point out his sister's defiant finish was the reason Bachelor Royal claimed the race.
It was the second start for the promising gelding, which was coming off a first-up victory in a 1450m maiden.
"We definitely think he will be a city horse," Andrew said.
Michelle, who said Bachelor Royal had to dig deep for the win, was the face of the May Racing Carnival last year, when she was nursing a neck injury.
"It's great to be back and be part of it," she said.
"It's an exciting carnival and I'm looking forward to the next couple of days."
There was a protest after the handicap which was upheld, with the Allan Clark-trained Gem of Kingston dropping back to third while Geoff Daffy's Irish Fire moved to second.
It was a strong run by the latter seeing as it missed the start by two lengths.