Jamie Kah await penalty after being found guilty of giving misleading evidence to stewards

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Jamie Kah’s barrister has pleaded for a suspended sentence after the star jockey was found guilty of misleading stewards, saying she has already been penalised enough.

Jamie Kah’s barrister has launched an impassioned plea for the Victorian Racing Tribunal to wholly suspend its penalty for the star jockey misleading stewards during the Mornington Airbnb probe.

Barrister Damian Sheales said Kah, who has been through “enough” humiliation, faces the potential of a “world record” penalty for the Covid-19 breach, having lost fancied Cups and Cox Plate rides alone.

Kah is serving a three-month ban for her part in an illegal gathering on August 25, along with Ben Melham, Ethan Brown, Mark Zahra and apprentice jockey Celine Gaudray.

Prior to penalty submissions being heard, the tribunal was unanimous in finding Kah guilty of giving false and/or misleading evidence to stewards during last month‘s the party probe.

The charge stemmed from Kah not being forthcoming about Mark Zahra’s attendance at the short-stay rental.

Barrister Raelene Sharp, acting for Racing Victoria, asked the tribunal to impose a further eight-week ban to be served after the three-month suspension ends in late November.

But during a colourful nine-minute submission, Sheales said the positive effect Kah has had on racing in Victoria, which he likened to Irish stayer Vintage Crop, should be considered.

Vintage Crop in 1993 became the first northern hemisphere galloper to win the Melbourne Cup.

He also asked the tribunal to take into account the “spectacular” cost of Kah sitting out the spring carnival as it is, along with the “public humiliation”.

“She took it (penalty) on the chin,” Sheales said.

“She made a public statement, she has been nothing but dignified in silence since.

“This is a massive penalty, if I may say with respect, it is not hyperbole … this is a world record penalty (for a Covid-19 breach) that she has taken on the chin.

“She’s already missed out on the rides of the winners of the only two Group 1 races this season because she was booked to ride them both (Behemoth and Incentivise).

“They were both $1m races (Memsie and Makybe Diva Stakes) and without slings her percentage is $100,000 so that’s a $100,000 penalty she’s already paid.”


Kah had been booked to ride Incentivise, firm favourite in Melbourne and Caulfield Cup markets, and was on standby to partner Zaaki, the short-priced Cox Plate elect.

“If those horses win … just on those three races alone and the two races already run and won, it’s a $1m penalty and she doesn’t complain,” Sheales said.

“The penalty she’s paid is just spectacular, surely there comes a time where … enough is enough.”

Kah rewrote Victorian racing history last season, claiming the Melbourne premiership with a record 105 winners.

Her feat culminated in the 25-year-old last Sunday becoming the first woman to be crowned Scobie Breasley medallist and Victorian Jockeys’ Association Most Valuable Jockey.

Judge John Bowman said Kah’s interpretation of a stewards’ question “who ended up there“ as relating to when police arrived is “totally unbelievable”.

Only when asked directly about Zahra in a third interview did Kah confirm Zahra’s attendance.

In the contested hearing last Monday, Sheales said Kah thought stewards meant who was at the house when police arrived late on August 25 following a noise complaint.

Judge Bowman rejected the claim on Wednesday.

“This explanation is far from convincing,” Judge Bowman said.

“Apart from anything else, the point you would’ve told the stewards about Mr Zahra’s presence had you been specifically asked is scarcely inadequate or illogical.”

The tribunal will publish a penalty for Kah at 9am on Friday.

Zahra got eight weeks last Tuesday, including four weeks suspended for two years.

Gaudray last Friday was handed the same penalty with six weeks suspended due to her early guilty plea, age and inexperience.

Melham and Brown will have their cases heard this week.

Originally published as Jamie Kah awaits penalty after being found guilty of giving misleading evidence to stewards

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