There is no doubt Jamie Kah is a modern-day legend of South Australian racing – a regular victor in Group 1 races around the country.
But the one she always wanted had eluded her until her brilliant ride in the $302,250 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on Monday.
She kept her renowned composure and produced a flying finish on the straight to guide her $4.20 favourite with online bookmakers, Daqiansweet Junior, to a convincing 1.5 length win for Phillip Stokes.
Stokes was also delighted to win a second-straight Cup in his hometown after stablemate Good Idea took it out last year.
Rob Blacker’s Tigertiger (jockey Harry Coffey) finished second.
“This is definitely up there. It’s always been a race I’ve wanted to win. I’ve been close before, but to do it at home in front of my friends and family is very special,” Kah told racing.com.
“And for Phil and his team I couldn’t have planned it any better.”
It was a case of love at first sight for Kah, still only 26, after she first rode Monday’s four-year-old victor.
“The first time I sat on him I thought this horse is going to be the ideal Adelaide Cup horse because out there anyone can ride him. He’s just a dream – he comes back, he stops, he starts,” Kah said.
“And they never really run a genuine tempo here. They go and they stop, and he was just beautiful.
“I can put him anywhere. I almost messed up – I got off the back of Tigertiger and I probably should’ve waited, but we got back on his heels at the turn and got out.
“I thought this horse might not be that genuine before. But today he was 100 per cent on.”
Kah never entertained any doubts that she’d run down Aurora’s Symphony ($10 for Symon Wylde who ended up finishing seventh) and Good Idea ($8.50 – fourth) at the final turn.
Both those runners had opened up two lengths on the rest of the field at that stage of the race.
“Not really (was I doubting Daqiansweet Junior would win). I wanted to be around Skelm (eighth for Terry Kelly at $6) and Tigertiger ($4.60), and I was right there the whole time, so I was pretty happy where I was.
“And it’s such a big, beautiful track with a long straight. Once we got out I was pretty confident.
“It’s so good to do this in front of everyone (hometown friends and family) here and great to be back.”
Star veteran South Australian trainer Stokes knew Daqiansweet Junior had something special in store after his last start.
That was when he finished three lengths behind winner Skelm in the $200,000 Measure Consulting Engineers Torney Night Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on February 18.
“Last start at Moonee Valley I said ‘let’s see if he can run the trip, and then we’ll know what we’re doing with him next prep’,” Stokes said.
“Sydney is definitely on the radar. He’s nominated for the Sydney Cup. We actually took Good Idea up there last year and he didn’t disgrace himself.
“So we’ll just see how the horse pulls up. He’ll go straight back to Victoria in the morning and we’ll re-assess.”
Unlike Kah, fellow hometown hero Stokes thought Daqiansweet Junior’s hopes were dashed before the final turn.
“I thought he was in a world of trouble and it was going to Good Idea, then it switched,” he said.
“The weight probably anchored Good Idea late and he ran enormous, and Junior was a horse on the up.
“We had to ride him to run the trip and we did.
“It’s fantastic. It’s your home-town cup. We got a big thrill out of it last year when I wasn’t here, so it’s good to be here for it this year.”