Record-breaking jockey Jamie Kah has revolutionised Melbourne riding according to top trainer Mick Price, who says all eyes will be on the next generation of apprentices to see what they can pick up from her style.
In an age of data-driven analytics, Price said Kah’s greatest asset is her ability to throw a speed map out the window and focus on riding her horse first, cutting through “all the bulls–t” in the process.
Price has had front row seats to the Kah phenomenon for a long time, since the South Australian apprentice was sent to him on loan for a three-month stint as an 18-year-old in 2014.
Having now returned to Melbourne, Price keeps a strong association with Kah and said pre-race discussions with her are different to those had with most jockeys.
“As trainers who put jockeys on, we get to compare,” he said.
“The way they have been doing it the last 15 years has been all these scientific speed maps.
“Some riders are inflexible in where they want to be in the races, they have their strong and weak points in races as they all do.
Mick Price with Jamie Kah talks at Sandown this week. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“She seems to ride them anywhere and in my experience whenever I put her on and I am standing there with her before the race, I’m not talking much about speed maps.
“I think all that bulls–t is overdone and I think that’s why Melbourne races are so muddily run because too many jockeys are dictated to by speed maps and not letting their horses flow in rhythm.”
Kah’s keep-it-simple approach has cut through with trainers, Price believes.
He wants to see what emerging riders can pick up from her.
“She is a new style of rider so it will be interesting to see what young apprentices take from her, not copy but take from her when they get to study how she has done it,” he said.
“In Melbourne most of these jockeys have got into the habit of dig, stack and sprint home – they are muddily run races, they are messy races, not like Sydney where they are flowing.
“I think Jamie Kah takes the muddle out of a lot of these races because she bounces sweet and if it’s a messy race she is there to do whatever she wants, if it is fast she is back on them, if it is slow she’s forward on them – I think she just rides her horse.”
Jamie Kah coasts to victory aboard Grand Promenade at Flemington. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Having gone past Brett Prebble’s record of 99½ winners in a season, Price said all eyes will be on whether her dominance can continue when more jockeys pick up on her strengths.
“It will be interesting to see because she has been so dominant this season,” he said.
“There are a number of factors, there’s support and opportunity for one but you don’t get that from hard markers unless you are doing something right and I am saying the something right she is doing is allowing her horse to flow and not be concerned with bulls–t trainer instructions.
“It will be interesting if the other riders pick up on this – will she lose some of her advantage that she has? Maybe, I don’t know.”
Originally published asHow Kah has taken the ‘bulls–t’ out of riding
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