Jockey Linda Meech's Sizzling Comeback To Owner Who Sacked Her
Sacked Victoria Derby jockey Linda Meech has shot back with fighting words after she was kicked off Thought Of That.
Meech -- who was Victoria's leading jockey last season -- was yesterday sacked as the rider of Victoria Derby second favourite Thought Of That by its owner Brae Sokolski.
He elected to give the ride to a male jockey, Mark Zahra.
This did not go down well with many people in racing, given Meech had ridden the horse to a dominant victory at its previous start.
Indeed the only woman to ride a Melbourne Cup winner, Michelle Payne, was furious.
Her Twitter account called Sokolski a "pig", for which she has since been fined $1,000 under the Australian Rule of Racing which prevents offensive social media posts.
Now Meech herself has had her say, and in sensational fashion.
After riding Oasis Girl to victory in the fourth event at Wednesday's Bendigo Races, Meech was interviewed -- as the winning jockey usually is.
"Of course things like that bother you," she said of being dumped from a horse with which she'd had a successful association -- a very unusual situation given that jockeys almost always retain a ride after piloting a horse to victory.
"I've had 20 years in this game, Brae's probably not had quite as long," she said of the man who decided to remove her.
It is believed that connections of Thought of That wanted a rider with more experience in Group One races like The Derby -- the highest echelon of racing. And Zahra unquestionably has that. But Meech was having none of that logic.
"If you're any good at maths, you'll work out that he's probably had a lot more opportunities but his strike rate is the same as mine," Meech, who has ridden one Group One winner in relatively few attempts, added.
With this comment, she echoed the thoughts of Rachael Griffiths, director of the Michelle Payne biopic 'Ride Like A Girl'.
Griffiths said on Instagram that "men have a better record because women are taken off horses they have qualified for group 1 races".
"She knows the horse. She had ridden him beautifully. They have a thing. It's disappointing to see this behaviour continue in an industry that needs women in its future and so many women were looking forward to backing her."
But Meech saved the best for last, in a quick throwaway comment which the interviewer almost missed.
"I hope that it gets beat," she said of her former mount.
That, right there, was a serious backhander.