American Angel, ridden by Jamie Kah (Image: Racing Photos)
Reigning champion Melbourne rider Jamie Kah turned around a frustrating run for trainer Danny O’Brien when she produced a smart ride aboard American Angel to win against fillies and mares at The Valley on Saturday.
Going into the meeting, Kah had ridden in 11 races for O’Brien in 2022 and had been in the quinella nine times. Unfortunately, only two of those had been winners.
Kah took bad luck out of the equation aboard the second race favourite when, after sitting back in the $130,000 Ladbrokes Handicap (1600m), she took off before the turn and went around the entire field before running away for a two-length win.
Kah was clearly impressed with the sprint of the four-year-old Americain mare, who herself had been plagued with a number of second placings in her short career.
“I said to Danny that she had an electric turn-of-foot today and probably spacing her runs a bit and that cut in the ground really suited her," Kah said.
“I thought last start she was probably a little bit plain on the run she got but she’s obviously taking a lot of improvement out of that and confidence.
“She ran absolutely super, and she’ll win more this prep.”
WATCH: Americain Angel wins at The Valley
Favourite punters cheered home Kah’s winning move as American Angel ($3.20 favourite) had a two length advantage over the well-tried Glassey Miss ($5.50) with three quarters of a length to Chris Waller’s imported mare Modern Millie ($11) in third place.
Kah said her hand was forced to make an early move due to American Angel’s position near the rear of the field.
“I probably wanted to be a tad closer after last start on her but it was going to work out like that today," she said.
"Nothing was taking us anywhere so sometimes you have to get a little bit messy to ride and win on them.
“I thought I had the best horse underneath me so I’ll just trust that she’s good enough and she was."
O’Brien said he could see a rosy future for the mare that has finished in the first two placings 10 times from 12 starts.
“She’s been a very consistent horse," he said. "Before today she’d run first or second nine times. She’s got a lot more seconds that firsts but she’s put two wins together now and hopefully onto bigger and better things.
“I think we’ll stay around the mile for the moment. There could be an option to get to 2000 metres again but she strikes me as a strong midfield miler."