Only days after making the switch to Victorian racing, South Australia’s premier jockey Jamie Kah has made an instant impact with an upset feature race win aboard Belwazi in the Kensington Stakes.
Trainer Jerome Hunter booked Kah for the ride on Belwazi in Saturday’s Listed 1000m race at Flemington after deciding to throw the mare into the race as a late nomination earlier this week.
Belwazi firmed from $26 to $15 before letting down strongly in her first attempt on the straight course to defeat Glenall ($3.20) by a neck with another short-neck to multiple Group One placegetter Champagne Cuddles ($3.20) third.
“I wanted Jamie for the ride because I have watched her in South Australia and horses just seem to travel so well for her,” Hunter said.
“I thought we’re going to a big race and I knew she would be hungry for it.
“I think she’s a very gifted rider.”
Kah is keen to establish herself in Melbourne having made the move this week to base herself in Victoria.
The 23-year-old rode a winner at Cranbourne on Friday night before adding the Listed race win at Flemington.
“It’s a really good start,” Kah said.
“Obviously it was a bit tougher race for Belwazi today but she travelled so well and at the 400-metre mark I thought ‘she is going lengths better than anything else’.
“I had to just hold her and keep her travelling for as long as I could and she probably still hit the front too soon, but she gave me a really nice feel.
“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.”
Hunter said after looking at the initial nominations on Monday he decided to throw Belwazi in because it was not the strongest Listed race he had seen.
“It’s paid off,” he said.
“There were some good horses in it but I thought we could be a good chance to run top four, or top five.”