Lightweight jockey Jamie Kah has made the most of her recent move to Victoria with an upset victory on 5-year-old mare Belwazi (Bel Esprit) in the L. Kensington Stakes at Flemington.
The 23-year-old Kah was the leading jockey in Adelaide but is the latest of a string of top South Australian participants to leave the state and had already brought up the first win of her stay with a win at the Cranbourne Friday night meeting.
"It's nice to get a kick along last night with a winner and now get another winner," she said. "I hope they keep coming."
"I hope they keep coming." - Jockey, Jamie Kah
Mornington-based trainer Jerome Hunter took advantage of extended nominations when he made his mare a late entry for the $125,000 race with Belwazi, a winner of five from 16 before Saturday and better known as a Moonee Valley specialist.
Hunter said he had followed Kah's career from afar and chased her for the ride after hearing she had made the move, calling her "a very gifted rider."
"I wanted Jamie for the ride because I have watched her in South Australia and horses just seem to travel well for her," he said. "I thought we're going to a big race and I knew she would be hungry for it."
The booking of Kah proved a masterstroke as she produced a poised ride on the $15 chance, stalking a strong tempo before timing her run to perfection.
"I wanted Jamie for the ride because I have watched her in South Australia and horses just seem to travel well for her." - Trainer, Jerome Hunter
"She was just travelling so well at the 400m, she almost got to the front too early and waited for them, she felt like she had lengths on them at the 400m " she said. Kah had never met Hunter before raceday but might be a regular visitor to his stables now.
"I am trying to spread myself around to as many stables as possible but hopefully I will be heading out to Mornington once a week now as well," she said. “I’m ready to do the work and drive everywhere for the first few months and really try to establish myself. I’m not really basing myself with one particular trainer. I’ve received a fair bit of interest from the people I’ve contacted and next week is going to be a busy week with jump-outs and trials, so I’m looking forward to it.”
“I’m ready to do the work and drive everywhere for the first few months and really try to establish myself. " - Jamie Kah
South Australian racing's jockey colony had already been dealt a blow with the retirement of Clare Lindop and the departure of promising apprentice Kayla Crowther, while trainer Phillip Stokes and Lloyd Kennewell have also relocated.
Kah won the Adelaide jockeys premiership as an apprentice, and this year set an Australian record for most wins by a female jockey 139 and collected a third straight John Letts medal for leading rider in the state.
The $3.20 equal-favourites Glenall (Redoute's Choice) and Champagne Cuddles (Not A Single Doubt) were second and third respectively. Champagne Cuddles trainer Bjorn Baker was happy with his stakes-placed mare's first-up effort and said she would now be set towards longer races in the autumn.