Melbourne’s fabulous Spring Racing Carnival began recently without the city’s reigning champion jockey, Jamie Kah (headline photo), writes KANGAROO JACK.

Kah has been banned for three months by Victoria Racing. She and fellow jockeys Ben Melham, Ethan Brown and Celine Gaudray violated Covid protocols by attending a gathering at an Airbnb venue in the Mornington Peninsula.

A noise complaint led to police finding six people on the property – all reportedly in breach of a curfew, and outside of their 5km travel radius. Police gave them fines in excess of $5,000. Worse, for the riders, was their rub-out from the lucrative carnival which includes the Melbourne Cup ($8 million), Cox Plate ($5 million), Caulfield Cup ($5 million), Victoria Derby ($2 million), Caulfield Guineas ($2 million), Mackinnon Stakes ($2 million) and Kennedy Cantala Stakes ($2 million. In total, the suspended jockeys will miss a staggering 114 feature races at Listed or Group level.

Kah commented: ‘There is no excuse for what I have done … I deserve the penalty handed down …’

Kah’s absence has not slowed the spate of victories for female jockeys in Australia. On Saturday, 13 female riders at prominent racing centres in Australia booted home 19 winners between them at prices ranging from 12-10 to 50-1. Rachel King completed a 400-1 double by booting home Bjorn Baker’s longshot Soldier of Love in Randwick’s last race.

Pundits now call the trainer, ‘Last race Bjorn’ because of his twilight successes in Sydney. King did him proud in a 1500m race where her mount was drawn widest of 15.

Is racing the only sport in which women and men compete regularly on equal terms, and women frequently win? If there’s another, please let us know.

Female jockeys / apprentices winning on Saturday include:

Randwick:                           Rachel King: Race 4: Brigantine 7-1; Race 10: Soldier of Love 50-1.

Moonee Valley:                Alana Kelly: Race 4: Degraves 19-10.

Carleen Hefel: Race 9: Don’t Doubt Dory 5-1.

Eagle Farm:                        Leah Kilner: Race 1: Aswaat 14-10; Race 2: Sergeant Silva 19-5

Madeleine Wishart: Race 6: Genzai the Wolf 5-2

Stephanie Thornton: Race 9: Ocean Treaty 30-1.

Newcastle:                         Winona Costin:  Race 4: Never Been Kissed 3-1.

Jenny Duggan: Race 7: Lord Heron 17-2.

Morphettville:               Kayla Crowther: Race 2: Hanabi 14-10; Race 7: Apache Star 4-1.

Jessica Eaton: Race 3: Perfect Route 9-2; Race 6: Ecumenical 13-2.

Mildura:                             Kiran Quilty: Race 1: Minority of One 12-10; Race 3: Dexa Bill 22-10.

Christine Puls: Race 5: Rokatta 13-1.

Gold Coast:                         Tiffani Brooker: Race 3: Funny Money 17-10; Race 8: Dash for Dreams 18-5.

Belmont:                             None.

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