Jamie Kah has nabbed an emotional win on Melbourne Cup day, taking out the Macca’s Run at Flemington aboard The Map. The female jockey, who has a long history with co-trainers Oopy MacGillivray and Dan Clarken, won from Mr Waterville, Garachico and Long Arm fourth.
“It is (a proud moment)," she said after the race. "Riding a winner on Melbourne Cup Day is awesome but for them, it felt like winning the Melbourne Cup.
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“They were like my second parents when I was growing up, they looked after me so much. Bought me lots of bottles of wine, because they have a beautiful winery, so that’s why I love them even more. But no that was just fantastic. I was always excited to ride this horse but that surprised me how well she ran.”
Jamie Kah's comeback from serious race fall
Kah was bidding to become just the second female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup when she rode More Felons in Tuesday's great race. It marked her latest bid to emulate Michelle Payne - who won the Cup on Prince of Penzance in 2015 - however she finished 12th.
The fact Kah was even riding in the race that stops the nation is nothing short of remarkable considering she was injured in a horror race fall in April. Kah and Craig Williams - two of the leading jockeys in Australian horse racing - were both thrown from their mounts during the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes at Flemington. Kah and Williams were both hospitalised after Kah's horse Flyball clipped the heels of eventual winner Veight, sending her spearing into the turf.
Williams suffered a broken clavicle, two fractured ribs and a damaged finger, while Kah had to be heavily sedated after she was knocked unconscious. Thankfully she didn't suffer any significant brain injuries or skull fractures.
However she didn't return to racing until five months later and scored a brilliant double-victory last Saturday at the Victoria Derby. “I’m very excited to ride (More Felons) in the Cup," she said. “It’s a very, very special race for Australia and I’m happy to be on him, I know he’ll run the trip, we just have to get him in a good spot.
“Riding in the Melbourne Cup is indescribable, how amazing it feels to be out there. To win the Melbourne Cup would be amazing, you got to be in it to win it and I’m in with a good chance.”
Legendary trainer Chris Waller said of Kah: “We took (More Felons) to Flemington on Thursday and Jamie had her first feel of the horse. It’s great to get the services of Jamie. She has an amazing gift with horses, they relax so well for her, and they respond to her.
“Looking ahead to a two-mile (3200m) race they are important factors when selecting a jockey for a horse. It’s amazing what Jamie’s achieved during her career and we’re looking forward to Tuesday’s race. What she’s been through in the last 12 months is unbelievable, she’s a real athlete, she’s well prepared and she’s a great thinker, a great horse person. I think we’ve got one of the world’s best riding on Tuesday.”
Jamie Kah's tumultuous racing career
Kah finished third on Prince of Arran in the 2020 Melbourne Cup, and was seventh on Smokin’ Romans last year. She missed the 2021 race while she served a suspension for breaching Covid-19 restrictions in Victoria by gathering at a rented apartment during lockdown.
Kah and boyfriend Ben Melham, as well as fellow jockeys Ethan Brown and Celine Gaudray, were each fined $5452 and had their racing licenses suspended for five months. Kah was hit with an extra two-month ban for allegedly giving misleading evidence during a Racing Victoria inquiry into the scandal.
No stranger to controversy, Kah has once again run into trouble off the track this year. The 27-year-old is facing a misconduct charge over a “white powder” scandal and will front a tribunal hearing over two days on November 13 and 14.
Kah was allegedly filmed appearing to arrange a white substance into three lines with an ID card during a gathering at her home in June. Her form has taken a nose-dive since the scandal erupted, but she has plenty of high-profile support.
“I think she’s just going through the motions of whatever she’s getting, the rides she’s getting (and) doing her best," Payne said recently. “Obviously it’s very hard coming back from an injury like that but I think that she’s not panicking and you can’t.
“She’s not getting the calibre of horses that she was, but I think she’s still riding as good as ever. If I had a horse good enough for her to ride I wouldn’t have any hesitations in putting her on. It’s a game where you need the luck to be going your way and I always say it’s like a big circle, it keeps coming back around.
“People that have ability are going great now and then it’ll come around and she’ll be flying again. She’s done a remarkable job to come back from her injury like she did and she’ll get back there.”
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