Jockeys Jamie Kah, Ben Melham, Ethan Brown and Celine Gaudray stood down after being caught in Covid breach

The state’s premier jockey Jamie Kah is among four riders sensationally stood down by Racing Victoria late on Thursday night in relation to a rogue Mornington house party on Wednesday night.

Group 1 star Ben Melham, Ethan Brown and talented apprentice Celine Gaudray, along with Kah, cannot ride for the next 14 days after attending the Airbnb past the 9pm greater Melbourne curfew.

The jockeys, who defied the State Government “stay at home directions”, were at the short-stay rental with two other non-licensed people.

Stewards have launched an inquiry into the alleged illegal gathering, which was in breach of not only current racing regulations, but also and more importantly the State Government orders.

RV chief medical officer Gary Zimmerman rubber-stamped the 14-day stand down on Thursday night, which results in Kah and Melham losing the rides on Group 1 Memsie Stakes favourite Behemoth and Beau Rossa respectively.

Jamie Kah has lost some big rides at Caulfield this Saturday.Source: Getty Images

Kah was also due to ride boom galloper Ayrton in the last race at Caulfield on Saturday.

RV chief executive Giles Thompson slammed the quartet’s behaviour.

“The alleged behaviour of these four jockeys is a slap in the face to every member of the racing industry that has worked incredibly hard to protect the sport and the community while continuing to race since Covid restrictions were first introduced in March 2020,” Thompson said.

“These individuals could have put at risk the very continuance of our sport and also blatantly disregarded the broader community implications through their selfish and thoughtless actions.

“The stewards have elected to lay significant charges against these individuals, which is appropriate given the potential impact their actions could have had on community safety, the livelihoods of the 25,000 Victorian jobs supported by racing and the welfare of the horses who rely on the daily care and exercise the industry provides.

“To see all of that potentially thrown away by the reckless behaviour of a small few is incredibly disappointing and far from what is expected of our industry participants.

“While these actions do not reflect the majority, I want to make it extremely clear to all industry participants of the critical need to abide all industry and Government directives, especially as we enter the Spring Racing Carnival period.

“Thank you to those that continue to do the right thing by the industry at all times and I hope this serves as a firm reminder of how fortunate we are to continue racing and the importance of adhering to the protocols.”

Ben Melham misses the ride on Beau Rossa in the Memsie this weekend.Source: Getty Images

The jockeys will be stood down at least until September 9.

Stewards adjourned the inquiry to 9.30am Friday.

Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula said: “These allegations are beyond disappointing – they’re actually mind-boggling.

“We all need to do our bit to get infections down so that we can open businesses and schools and get crowds back to events – including the spring carnival – and industry participants should be setting an example. To think that some would, instead, put all of that at risk is just infuriating.”

Private gatherings for persons otherwise living with one another are prohibited in Victoria.

Kah’s manager James Henderson was contacted for comment on Thursday night.