Horse racing world divided after Jamie Kah handed victory over controversial move

Kah and Kintyre got the win on a protest after Tim Clark and Gold Bullion crossed the line first.

Jamie Kah was caught up in controversy on Saturday after a protest saw her handed a win aboard Kintyre in the Frank Packer Plate at Royal Randwick. Tim Clark and Gold Bullion crossed the finish line first, but connections of Kintyre launched a protest believing Kah had been impeded near the end of the race.

Kah and Kintyre finished with a wet sail and came home very strongly, and looked as though they were going to overhaul Clark and Gold Bullion to win. But Clark appeared to move slightly and force Kah into the rail on the inside, which Kah argued had prevented her from using the whip.

Jamie Kah, pictured here on Kintyre during the controversial incident.
Stewards agreed that Jamie Kah was impeded and Kintyre should have won. Image: Channel 7/Getty

“Tim’s horse has stepped back in and I’ve had to put the whip away,” Kah told stewards after the race. “I was leaning on the rail quite hard that last bit. The margin is very small, but I felt like my horse was going to go on and win easily. The interference has definitely cost me a good length, I think.’‘

Clark argued that Kintyre was already drifting towards the rail before Gold Bullion moved over, and that Kah had the chance to overtake him previously in the straight but failed to do so. “When Jamie shifts back to the inside the run is tight,’‘ Clark said.

“That horse had a good 250 metres to get past my horse and was unable to do so. When my horse gets in on Jamie, it was right on the winning post if not past the winning post.’‘


Jamie Kah handed victory on Kintyre after protest works

Stewards ultimately agreed with Kah and overturned the result, awarding Kintyre the victory. “(That move) results in Kintyre making contact with the running rail over the last 4-5 strides of the race,” the chief steward said. “We believe had it not been for the crowding, Kintyre would have beaten Gold Bullion.”

Trainer Gary Portelli was thrilled with the overturned result. “Barrier one, finally, and he got every chance, good ride," he said. "It would have been tragic to see him get beaten."

Jamie Khan and Tim Clark.
Jamie Khan aboard Kintyre (L) and Tim Clark on Gold Bullion (R) in the Frank Packer Plate.

It turned out to be a brilliant day for Kah, who won back-to-back races when she steered Muzu to victory in the Hall Mark Stakes not long after. "After the protest went my way I thought ‘it might be my day today'," she said.

"With Mazu, he loves it (wet tracks). He's a weird horse because he's got all the ability in the world and then he hit the front like he was going to win by five or six and he pricked his ears and looked at the winning post. He does a lot of things wrong, he's a thinker but he's got the ability when he puts his mind to the job."

Jamie Kah and Tim Clark after the race.
Jamie Kah and Tim Clark in the stewards' room. Image: Channel 7

Horse racing fans divided over Jamie Kah controversy

But punters weren't convinced that Kah and Kintyre deserved the win in the Frank Packer Plate. Opinion was heavily divided after the result of the protest was announced.

"Kintyre was never going to win and was behind Gold Bullion," one person wrote on social media. "That’s so bad." Another commented: "What a poor decision. Touched on the line, not before it. Utter joke from stewards."

A third person described it as a "disgraceful" decision, but others thought it was correct. "Good decision, there was enough room for 200m, it was Kah’s run," another person wrote. "Clark’s mount shifts toward the rail at about the 50 and makes contact at about the 25. If it doesn’t push Kah’s mount into the rail, it goes past it, no doubt."