Punt Drunk: A Behemoth weekend capped off with a Group 1 win

Punt Drunk is back for another week, and we have just one question: can we all take a breath now? The weekend of racing was next level, with Behemoth proving a worthy winner in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes on Saturday, while the AirBnB party scandal continued to evolve and a jockey for Cox Plate contender Verry Elleegant was revealed.

A Behemoth win in the Memsie

Behemoth by name, Behemoth by nature. (Racing Photos)

It wasn’t the ding-dong battle between Behemoth and Tofane that many racing fans were hoping for; instead it was a relatively easy watch for connections as the big fella from Adelaide took out the Group 1 Memsie Stakes. Despite fellow South Australian rival Beau Rossa getting within a half-length on the line, Behemoth backers were counting their cash a fair way out from home.

It capped off a remarkable 48 hours for connections of the three-time Group 1 winner, as they needed to find a replacement jockey on Friday morning following Jamie Kah’s bender at the infamous Mornington AirBnB, but we guess a Group 1 win would cover those cracks nicely. The big winner out of the weekend was Brett Prebble, who claimed his first Group 1 race since returning to Australia from Hong Kong in late 2018.

It was actually an AirBnB quinella in the Memsie, with Ben Melham’s former mount Beau Rossa the fast finisher to nab second with Linda Meech aboard. Safe to say, it has been one hell of a costly weekend Kah and Melham in particular.

Zahra revealed as fifth jockey at AirBnB party

Mark Zahra
It is unconfirmed, but this is the face Mark Zahra pulled when he got busted for going to the infamous AirBnB. (Racing Photos)

We promise that today is the last time you will hear anything about the Mornington get-together last week… actually, no, it is that stupid that it beggars belief and we’ll milk it for all it’s worth.

Last year’s Caulfield Cup winner, Mark Zahra, has been named as the fifth jockey to attend the shindig, copping a $5k fine and a three-month suspension to join Jamie Kah, Ben Melham, Ethan Brown and Celine Gaudray on the sidelines following their big night in.

Racing Victoria are also set to extend the suspensions of all five jockeys by an extra month for “lying” during the investigation. It means one thing: if you’re going to break the strict COVID-19 protocols set out, you may as well just kiss the rest of your year goodbye!

Lane wins ride on Verry Elleegant

Damian Lane
Can ‘Frosty’ add another Cox Plate to his trophy cabinet? (Racing Photos)

Imagine being part of Verry Elleegant’s connections? Your regular jockey, James McDonald, cannot get down from Sydney for the Spring Carnival, and his Melbourne-based replacement, Mark Zahra, has been banned for three months, but now you get to call on the great Damian ‘Frosty’ Lane? Fair play to co-owner Brae Sokolski, who is pushing for consecutive Cox Plate victories after having Sir Dragonet claim Australia’s greatest weight-for-age race last year.

Monday Racing Tips – August 30, 2021

Punt Drunk

About Punt Drunk

Welcome to Punt Drunk! Our new daily column covering all the latest horse racing and punting controversies, dramas and headline news. Have a story or gripe or issue that just grinds your gears? Just hit us up in the comments or contact us page and our jaded, punt hardened Punt Drunk staff will give it the Punt Drunk treatment it deserves. Don’t expect pleasantries or typical racing media fanboy gloss from Punt Drunk – we’re on the punt and we don’t have time to bullshit; the next is about to jump…

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