What a big weekend it has been for female jockeys.
Jamie Kah leaves her comfort zone in Melbourne to claim her first Group 1 race in Sydney guiding Cascadian home in the Doncaster Mile, while on the other side of the world Rachael Blackmore has taken one of the world’s most gruelling races, the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree.
It is a changing world. Where once it was difficult for the girls to get a go in the male dominated landscape, they are now showing they can match it with the best.
Just as Michelle Payne became a household name through winning the Melbourne Cup in 2015, Kah is becoming a big name in Australian racing. Reading reports from Sydney, she captured their attention with her win in the Doncaster, although she may not have endeared herself to them earlier in the week when not wanting any media attention.
Unfortunately, that is part of the territory of being a leading rider, but who can blame her? She wanted to concentrate on the job at hand which was a new experience at a different carnival.
Kah is not alone in wanting to avoid the spotlight. There have been plenty of others previously, and she won’t be the last, although she is happy to give her time on the majority of occasions.
Starting out in Adelaide and quickly rising to the top there, Kah has taken Melbourne by storm and from afar it looks like she has done the same in Sydney.
Congratulations on a job well done.
Jamie Kah in the Godolphin silks after her win on Cascadian (GB) in the Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile, picture Sportpix.com.au
RUNS OF THE DAY
The field may have been small, but MISSILE MANTRA was exceptional in her return victory in the Neds Filter Form Handicap. Mark Zahra had the mare settled at the back of the field but she quickly made a move sweeping up four-wide on the turn. Once balanced for the run home, she bounded clear for an easy win. Missile Mantra has better form over more ground, and after Saturday’s first-up win she looks set for a good campaign.
The Hyland Race Colours Handicap was considered a two-horse race between Annavisto and Mozzie Monster. However, in the end it was a one-act affair. ANNAVISTO did it the tough way. She sat outside the leader Air Defence and over-raced a fraction early before Mark Zahra got her to settle. She then hit the lead early in the straight into a fierce headwind which made it difficult to hear those coming from behind. Still, Annavisto raced strongly to the line to record a strong win.
FOR THE BLACKBOOK
Not going to give up on MOZZIE MONSTER. She just got too far back and spotted the winner Annavisto too much of a start. At no stage did she look like winning, but she was dogged in her finishing effort to close to two-and-a-quarter lengths at the finish after giving away a much bigger start. The way she is racing a step up to 1600m is ideal for the filly the next time she steps out.
SILENT SOVEREIGN is capable of getting away with a staying race in the coming weeks. A first-up winner in January, Silent Sovereign has gradually been stepped up in trip throughout the campaign. Settled midfield early in the race, Dean Holland got mobile from the 600m to strike the front turning for home. Despite wobbling out under pressure in the straight, she held firm to finish second to Mohican Heights. Saturday’s performance should have her at her peak for whatever assignment Tony and Calvin McEvoy choose for her next outing.
ONE LAST CHANCE
ELIDI was too bad to be true. Shortly after the start she changed stride and that was the end of the race. Her rider Will Price eventually eased her right down in the straight, finishing 20 lengths behind the second last horse. A vet’s examination failed to reveal any abnormality, but more extensive tests are to be run. Let us hope something is found to tell us why she performed so poorly.
PLATOON was expected to send punters home on a high but he was one of the first beaten when under pressure before the 600m mark. Mark Zahra told stewards Platoon was uncomfortable racing inside horses, but there was plenty of room as the field got away from the fence. Perhaps a spell is being called for now before regrouping for a spring campaign.
WHAT’S ON NEXT WEEK
It is owner's day at Caulfield next week. The Listed Bel Esprit Stakes is the feature, however The Showdown, and its $950,000 in prize money, will attract plenty of headlines for the two-year-old's.
In Sydney, it is day two of The Championships, featuring the Sydney Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes which will see Verry Elleegant and Addeybb do battle.
The carnival in Brisbane has a soft opening with two Listed races, the Daybreak Lover and the Ascot Handicap, while over in Adelaide there is the R N Irwin Stakes and Auraria Stakes, both at Group 3 level, and the Redelva Stakes, a Listed race for the three-year-olds.