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Horse Racing: The 2019 Melbourne Cup is fast approaching as a number of trainers put their race hopefuls through their paces.
Linda Meech rode Thought of That in its past two runs – both wins. Pic: Micheal KleinSource:News Corp Australia
Sacked Victoria Derby jockey Linda Meech has taken a shot at the owners who bumped her off one of the leading chances in Saturday’s Victoria Derby, saying she hopes the horse gets beaten.
Meech was controversially kicked off Thought Of That, a $4.20 chance for Saturday’s feature at Flemington, with managing owner Brae Sokolski preferring more-experienced Group 1 rider Mark Zahra.
After riding Oasis Girl to victory in race 4 on Bendigo Cup Day, Meech didn’t miss her chance to respond to Sokolski.
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“It’s just one of those things. Brae’s a smart enough bloke to stick with the big guns but I hope that it gets beat,” Meech said.
“Of course things like that bother you.
“I’ve had 20 years in the racing game, Brae probably hasn’t had quite as long but I won’t let that get to me, but is a little bit disappointing.
“I know he wanted a Group 1 jockey but Mark Zahra’s had 262 rides in Group 1s and I’ve had 23 for one winner and he’s had 15.
“I think if you’re any good at maths, you’ll work out he’s had a lot more opportunities, but his strike rate’s pretty bad — same as mine.”
Meech rides Oasis Girl to victory on Wednesday. Pic: AAPSource:AAP
Meech was cheered by spectators at Bendigo as she returned to scale while the filly’s co-trainer Simon Zahra described her ride on Oasis Girl as “perfect.”
Cries of “Go, Meechy”, “You beauty, Meechy” and “You’ve got our support, Meechy, and we’re men” rang out as Meech returned to scale.
Meech said she had ignored social media and seemed unaware Michelle Payne had been fined $1000 by Racing Victoria stewards for labelling Sokolski a “pig”.
“I honestly don’t do a lot of social media because I don’t think it’s any good for you,” she said.
Meech’s win on Oasis Girl was popular. Pic: AAPSource:AAP
“Luke Nolen once said that ‘You either hear from people that really love you or they’re people that really hate you and the people in between they’re not the sort of people to get onto social media.’
“The average person at the supermarket is probably not interested in what Linda Meech is doing.
“But I would like to say thankyou to all my close friends who have sent me messages.
“Especially to my manager Zoe Gordon, I rang her yesterday and she said about The Autumn Sun when they took James McDonald off it, so I suppose it happens to everyone.”
Meech has four rides at Flemington on Saturday, including Group 1 appointments on Sartorial Splendour and Miss Siska.
She is riding the Chris Waller-trained Captain Cook in today’s Bendigo Cup over 2400m.