Jamie Kah concedes her race day superstitions verge on the obsessive compulsive despite not being able to pin the origins of her “weird traits”.
Unlike her demeanour on horseback, riding seemingly without a care in the world, Melbourne’s top jockey is anything but calm and composed in the 35-40 minute gaps between races.
Her silks must be folded and placed a particular way, each time.
So too, the rest of her riding gear, layered neatly on top of her saddle.
The cap, its placement more so, must align perfectly.
It should be snug on the helmet and a fraction titled at the brim.
“I’m very particular about little strange things,” Kah said.
“I like the way my hat cover goes on my helmet and I like the way my gear goes on top of my saddle when I weigh out, it’s my little weird trait.”
Most jockeys, those with busy riding schedules especially, use “valets” to handle the preparation and cleaning of race day equipment, but the hired help is not for Kah after a recent trial.
“I didn’t like the way she put my hat cover on,” Kah said, with a broadening smile.
“It gets quite busy between races, it’s probably good, it keeps me occupied and I don’t really sit and think about it (rides) too much, I’m not one to do a lot of form.”
With rides in all nine races at Sandown Hillside — for seven different trainers — time will again be at a premium as Kah looks to build on her season tally of 45 city winners.
Damian Lane (34) and Damien Oliver (33) loom as her “biggest threats”, along with Craig Williams (25).
“He‘s (Lane) one of my biggest threats, one of the best riders in Victoria, he’s going hard and I think he’s going to be breathing down my back pretty soon,” Kah said.
“My manager is doing a great job, picking up a lot of rides lately, exhausting as it is, it (premiership) is something we’re keeping an eye on.
“It’s pretty hard not to think about it, I didn’t expect this time of year I’d still be that many in front.”
The competition with Lane extends to Friday morning trackwork too, as the state’s premier jockeys boast strong links with major Flemington stables.
“It’s a bit hard because we ride for similar people, so it’s a bit of a rivalry at the minute,” Kah said.
“Simon (Zahra) still makes me steak sandwiches and not Damian, so I think I’m the favourite.”
Originally published asCap obsession: Top jock embraces her ‘weird traits’
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