Jockey Jamie Kah cops extra two-month ban in million-dollar blow

·3-min read
Pictured here, top Aussie jockey Jamie Kah at a race meet in Victoria.
Top Aussie jockey Jamie Kah won't be able to return to action until late January 2022.

Top jockey Jamie Kah won't be able to return to racing until next year after her ban for a controversial Covid-19 breach was extended.

The 25-year-old last month expressed remorse for breaches that saw her and three other riders fined and banned from racing.

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Kah, Ethan Brown, Ben Melham and apprentice jockey Celine Gaudray breached Victoria's lockdown restrictions by staying at a Mornington Airbnb with two others in August.

They were fined $5452 each for breaching the directions of the chief health officer, after police were called to the Tallis Drive property due to a noise complaint just before midnight.

The four riders also pleaded guilty to charges laid by racing stewards, of "failure or refusal to comply with an order, direction, or requirement of the stewards or an official".

Top Aussie Jockey Jamie Kah is seen here riding a horse.
Jockey Jamie Kah will miss the spring racing carnival after her initial three month ban was extended by two months. Pic: AAP

Stewards initially suspended the racing licences of all four jockeys for three months, meaning none of them can ride in the 2021 Spring Racing carnival.

However, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) slugged an extra two months on top of Kah's ban because it wasn't satisfied with her reasons for withholding the involvement of the other riders.

Kah said she failed to mention the presence of Zahra at the gathering because he was only "briefly" there for a "few beers" - an explanation the VRT said was "far from convincing.”

The jockey's extended ban puts her out of action until late January, meaning she'll miss the lucrative spring racing carnival and up to one million dollars in prize money.

Zahra and Gaudray were also found guilty and had their original three month bans extended by one month and two weeks respectively.

Jamie Kah sorry for Covid breach scandal

Kah last month issued a grovelling apology for her role in the controversy.

"I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed with myself," she said in a statement on Twitter.

"There is no excuse for what I have done and I have let myself down, my family and friends, the racing industry and all Victorians who are doing the right thing in this lockdown.

"I deserve the penalty handed down by the stewards and will take the time to reflect on my actions and its impact on so many people."

Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson condemned the riders' actions at the time and said it put the industry at unnecessary risk.

"These individuals could have put at risk the very continuance of our sport and also blatantly disregarded the broader community implications through their selfish and thoughtless actions," he said.

He also warned of the "critical need" for the industry to follow COVID-19 directives ahead of the Spring Racing carnival.

The racing industry has been allowed to keep operating under COVID restrictions and Racing Victoria says more than 750 race meetings have been held safely since the pandemic began.

Last year's Melbourne Cup carnival was held without spectators at the usually packed Flemington Racecourse.

with AAP

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