Melbourne Cup winner Michelle Payne says she had spent most of her riding career trying to prove she is strong enough to mix it with male jockeys – but Jamie Kah has changed all that.
As Kah prepares to put the finishing touches on a spectacular record-breaking premiership-winning season, Payne insists the riding star has revolutionised how female jockeys are perceived.
They made a movie about Payne’s historic 2015 Melbourne Cup win on Prince Of Penzance and they called it Ride Like A Girl.
And Payne says that is exactly what Kah does. She has forever changed how female jockeys will ride.
“I had always felt that I had to try to be as strong as the men, to get the respect and to get good rides in the biggest and best races,” Payne said.
“For me, I always felt the pressure to be stronger. But that counteracted what I actually believed was the best way for me to get the best out of my horse.
“Now Jamie has turned everyone’s head – how beautiful is she to watch riding?
“Horses love her and they respond to her beautiful balance and poise.
“To watch all this changing is such an exciting thing for me.
“The next generation of female riders won’t have the pressure to be stronger, they can just ride the horse.
“It is exciting because I feel like it is going to continue to change. It is definitely not like it used to be.”
Michelle Payne. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Kah has already gone this season where no other Victorian rider has gone before.
Kah heads into Saturday’s meeting at The Valley – the last metropolitan meeting of the season – with 103 wins, having obliterated Brett Prebble’s previous city record of 99.5 wins.
The star jockey has seven rides on the nine race Valley card and she could be in for a bumper day as five of them are favourites.
I’m Thunderstruck ($1.95, race 5), Smokin’ Romans ($2.80, race seven), Dr Drill ($3.90, race four), Red Santa ($4, race 8) and Flash Flood ($4.40, race nine) are all favourites in their respective races.
It would be some way to put an exclamation mark on her stellar season if she walked out of The Valley with a swag of winners.
Jamie Kah. Picture: Racing PhotosSource:Getty Images
Meanwhile, Payne, will be watching on in admiration.
While Kah’s riding career continues to skyrocket, Payne, now a dual license holder, has indicated she is already mulling over when to call time on her riding career.
“I don’t know how much longer I’m going to ride for, I’m going to make the most of it while I can,” Payne said.
“Everyone keeps asking me. And my family pushes me to hang up the boots because it is so dangerous.
“I feel like I will know when the time is right.
“While I am still fit and enjoying it, I might as well make the most of it.”
Michelle Payne at her farm near Ballarat in Victoria. Picture: Aaron FrancisSource:News Corp Australia
Originally published asMichelle Payne reveals how Kah revolutionised the riding ranks
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