By Jon Lees
Australia: Jamie Kah is in line for the highest-profile ride of her career after being put on standby for the mount on one of Australia’s top sprinters, four-time G1 winner Nature Strip, when he returns in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
Kah will partner the Chris Waller-trained star in a workout next Friday and ride him in the Flemington G1 on February 13 unless regular jockey James McDonald re-routes from Sydney.
McDonald could have commitments at Randwick the same day, when Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant is set to reappear, and would also face Covid protocols in order to travel into Victoria.
Kah, 25, who has ridden three G1 winners, leads the metro premiership in Victoria with 51 winners this season, 16 clear of her nearest rivals.
Waller, who will also have September Run in the 5f contest, said: “Craig Williams will ride September Run and it is likely that Jamie Kah will replace James McDonald who has opted to stay in Sydney for next weekend’s racing due to the quarantine restrictions in place.
“It was obviously not an easy decision to make but there is still a little bit of uncertainty around which we respect; previous winning jockeys of Nature Strip were already obligated to other rides in the race.
“It is our intention that Jamie will ride Nature Strip in a jumpout next Friday at Flemington where both her and September Run will have a nice blow out to complete their preparations for this important first-up assignment.”
On the strength of an impressive win in the 2019 G1 Darley Sprint Classic, Nature Strip started the odds-on favourite for last year’s Lightning Stakes but finished only fourth behind surprise winner Gytrash.
The six-year-old gelding won his next two starts, including the G1 T J Smith Stakes, finished seventh in the Everest and was runner-up to Bivouac in last year’s Darley Sprint Classic.
Nature Strip recently edged out Bivouac in a barrier trial and is second favourite behind the Godolphin star in the betting.