Jamie Kah on Nature Strip. Picture: Racing Photos
Jamie Kah is unlikely to ride Nature Strip again this campaign despite Melbourne’s leading jockey being a pivotal part of his sizzling Black Caviar Lightning win at Flemington on Saturday.
Co-owner Rod Lyons called Kah a “special talent” on Monday and said she continued to amaze him with her cool riding style and her ability to get horses to travel for her, but said his incredible sprinter’s time in Melbourne might be up this autumn as he eyes big prizes in Sydney.
Lyons said he had yet to discuss in detail the next move with Nature Strip, but he said it was likely he would be weighted out of the Group 1 $1.25 million Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 6 so will either follow the same path as last year into the TJ Smith Stakes via the Group 2 $500,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m) in Sydney or be kept in Melbourne for one more run.
The $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on March 19 is another option and one that would not disappoint connections as Kah would again be offered the mount.
Lyons said there were a number of factors in Nature Strip’s performance in the Black Caviar Lightning where Kah rode him for the first time.
“Maybe it's the way they have been training him to settle more earlier on or maybe the hectic speed in the race from Pippie meant he could take a sit and settle and third, of course, is Jamie Kah,” he said.
“She is just a wonderful bloody rider. Wonderful balance. Wonderful set of hands.
“Like everyone else, I have been sitting here watching her with amazement. She’s got that X-factor, that special talent.
“You can pick her out in the field because she doesn’t move on the horse. Her balance is brilliant. She doesn’t bash them or rock all over them.
“She reminds me of Joao Moreira. So many times he looks like he’s going to get beaten at the 200-metre mark and somehow he just gets the horse home. Jamie is like that.”
WATCH: Nature Strip win the 2021 Black Caviar Lightning
Lyons said that if Nature Strip went back to Sydney, James McDonald would again assume the ride as he said COVID-19 restrictions meant if was dangerous in booking interstate riders.
“Imagine if we had McDonald on him (in the Lightning) and come Friday, he couldn’t come down because of the lockdown and we’re without a jockey so you’ve got to stick to those that are in the area,” he said.
Lyons said connections were confident Nature Strip was going to produce his best in the Lightning.
“He still ran two seconds last preparation and won $600,000 in prizemoney but he wasn’t quite right,” Lyons said.
“His coat never came through and he was leaving food, which is very unusual for him but this time he has shown none of that. His coat has come through and he is eating up.”
He said the work put into the horse by the stable to get him to settle and conserve his blistering sprint was paying off.
“They eased the pedal a little in his work,” he said. “Normally, he just wants to jump and run but we’ve been trying to slow him down. The way he travelled, it was a pretty pain-free watch.”