For the second time this Spring Racing Carnival, the prize for the Best Bets Star of the Saddle has been split as Jamie Kah and Dwayne Dunn finished level on 10 points apiece after the two days of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival.
Dunn’s win on Amangiri for the Hawkes training team in the last of 18 races moved him to 10 points, and he was joined on that mark by Kah after she finished third in the same race on Vanuatu.
Both jockeys overhauled Ben Melham and Mark Zahra, who went into the Group 3 Powerflo Solutions Stakes (1600m) level on 9.5 points, but ultimately finished in a tie for third after they were both unplaced in the finale.
The tie means Kah and Dunn share the $100,000 cash prize, bringing the two-day Cox Plate Carnival at The Valley to a thrilling conclusion.
Kah struck on Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes night (Friday, 25 October), setting a new record in the Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge Heat 3 (955m) on Bella Vella and followed up with victory in the Group 3 Australia Stakes (1200m) today on the John Sadler-trained Sartorial Splendor.
Both of Dunn’s wins came on Cox Plate Day, firstly in the Group 2 Drummond Golf Vase (2040m) on the Ken Keys-trained Soul Patch before he ended the carnival on a winning note with a powerful performance on Amangiri.
The Cox Plate Carnival prize incorporated the annual Brent Thomson Award, with Kah and Dunn joining Jordan Childs (TAB Turnbull Stakes Day), Kerrin McEvoy and Damian Lane (Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Day) and Craig Williams (Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Day) as the winners of the Star of the Saddle.
Points in the Star of the Saddle competition are allocated on a 3-2-1 basis for the first three placegetters in each race.
On conclusion of each eligible meeting, the highest points scorer claims the cash prize, provided that they have not been suspended during the course of either race meeting for breaches of Australian Rules of Racing 131 (Riding Offences) and/or 132 (Whip Use).
Following this weekend’s Cox Plate Carnival, jockeys will have one final shot at the title on AAMI Victoria Derby Day at Flemington next Saturday (2 November), when $100,000 is up for grabs.
The winner of the final Star of the Saddle on AAMI Victoria Derby Day will also secure a set of four race saddles from Peter Horobin Saddlery, valued at more than $3,000.