Victoria’s star jockey Jamie Kah will be free to ride during the spring carnival after the date set for her tribunal hearing for bringing racing into disrepute was scheduled for mid-November.
Kah intends to plead not guilty to charges of bringing racing into disrepute over images of her pictured cutting lines of a white powder, with her legal representative Matthew Stirling indicating at a directions hearing on Wednesday that he intends to challenge Racing Victoria’s position that Kah’s alleged conduct broke the rules of racing.
Still shots of recordings of Kah, stablehand Ruby McIntyre and greyhound trainer Jacob Biddell were published in the media in late June, which pictured Kah using an identification card in her hand to arrange a white powder substance into three lines.
Under the rules of racing, “a person must not engage in conduct prejudicial to the image, interests, integrity, or welfare of racing, whether or not that conduct takes place within a racecourse or elsewhere.”
Due to a backlog of tribunal cases, the earliest Kah’s case could be heard was October 25, just three days before the Cox Plate and on the same day as the Geelong Cup.
Marwan El-Asmar, representing Racing Victoria stewards, proposed that the hearing could be scheduled for after the spring racing carnival, and after consulting Kah, Stirling agreed for the hearing to be set on Monday, November 13, two days after Champions Day.
The 27-year-old has since returned to riding track work and is free to ride in races leading up to her tribunal hearing on a stay of proceedings, starting with her return to the saddle on Saturday.
It is the first time Kah will have raced since March 11, when she fell at Flemington in a horrific fall which forced doctors to put her into an induced coma, and left her with bleeding on the brain and several broken bones. She has five rides at Randwick, including the prized ride on group-1 favourite Zaaki in the Winx Stakes.
McIntyre’s directions hearing preceded Kah’s on Wednesday, where her case was set for October 23 and 24. McIntyre also intends to plead not guilty to charges of bringing the image of racing into disrepute.
Stewards have compiled 270 pages worth of evidence against Kah, made up mostly of interview transcripts, which will underpin their case against the star jockey.
Kah’s stay of proceedings means she will not miss her second spring carnival in three years, after being rubbed out from competing during the 2021 carnival for attending an illegal Airbnb gathering during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kah was suspended for three months after she was found to be one of five jockeys who broke the Victorian government’s pandemic curfew, which risked putting racing in jeopardy, given the sport had continued in Victoria through the pandemic behind closed doors.
Kah is one of Victoria’s best jockeys, having broken the record for winning the most metropolitan races in Melbourne during the 2020-21 season.
While Wednesday’s directions hearing was held online, Kah’s tribunal case in November will be held in person, with two days allocated for the case.
News, results and expert analysis from the weekend of sport sent every Monday. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.