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By Graham Potter | Monday, September 13, 2021

It goes without saying that Jamie Kah’s punishment for her involvement in the Airbnb scandal goes way beyond a three month suspension.

The blow to her reputation, her mental anguish over her own actions as well as having to cope with the response of her peers to her indiscretion and also having to deal with a rampant outpouring of sometimes graphic opinions on social media … all total a far greater level of punishment than not being able to race for three months.

To her credit, Kah was one of only two of the five jockeys charged following that Airbnb saga (Celine Gaudary being the other jockey) not to appeal the penalty. That might not seem like much in the circumstances, but compared to Ben Melham, Ethan Brown and Mark Zahra’s appeals against the severity of their sentences, to many Kah and Gaudary come out smelling like roses.

It’s called taking it on the chin and owning what you have done.

Of course, Melham and co. have their lawyers and have their rights but, as far as can be ascertained, the court of public opinion is not enamoured with their decision.

While those actions at the Airbnb could not be condoned, there was some genuine concern about Kah who, apart from posting an apology soon after the inquiry, seemed to drop off the radar completely.

That was until yesterday, when Kah played a leading role in a virtual broadcast of the Victorian Racing Awards. Awards aplenty came Kah’s way … the prestigious Scobie Breasley Medal, Metro Premiership Roy Higgins Medal and Victorian Jockey’s Association’s (VTA) Most Valuable Jockey Award.

Kah had earned them all following her stellar season and the fact that she won the Scobie Breasley Medal (which voted on by race-day stewards) by a record number of votes, the Roy Higgins Medal with a record number of Metropolitan winners and the VTA’s Most Valuable Jockey Award … significantly, an award that is voted on by her fellow riders … made a real statement about her prowess in her profession.

“It means the world to me to win the Scobie Breasley Medal and the metro premiership, but to be voted by the other jockeys as the VJA Most Valuable Jockey is something very special,” said Kah.

Kah showed further contrition at the awards and again apologised unreservedly for her role in what occurred at the Airbnb but, in a very much more positive sense, she was also forthcoming with a statement that most people had been hoping to hear, namely that she was not done yet!

“I want to come back bigger and better than ever and there’s so much more to do,” said Kah.

While Kah has still to face another inquiry (and a possible suspension extension) and has the difficult off-track months to negotiate, it is good to see that she has drawn a line in the sand regarding her future and has confirmed her plans to carry on where she left off when she returns.

It is time to look ahead, not back … and seems to be exactly what Kah is doing!

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Jamie Kah

Photo: Darren Winningham
Jamie Kah

Photo: Darren Winningham
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