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Williams wins fifth Scobie Breasley Medal
03 Sep 2017 | Racing Victoria 
Victorian jockey Craig Williams capped off a memorable 2016-17 racing season by winning the 22nd Scobie Breasley Medal at an awards night on Sunday which honoured Victorian racing’s heroes.

Williams was adjudged the best rider of the 2016-17 season by Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards, polling 62 votes across 109 metropolitan meetings to claim a fifth Scobie Breasley Medal after winning four straight from 2006 to 2009.

It was one of two awards the 40-year-old collected on the night, having earlier been presented with the Roy Higgins Medal for winning his sixth Victorian Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership.

Other notable winners included wonder mare Winx, who was crowned the Victorian Racehorse of the Year and the Lindsay Park trio of David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, who were awarded the Fred Hoysted Medal for their outstanding training performance when preparing a Group 1 double on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day.

Williams, fresh from winning the first Group 1 of the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival on Vega Magic in Saturday’s Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, overcame his nearest rival Damian Lane by 19 votes (43), with eight-time Scobie Breasley Medallist Damien Oliver third on 41 votes.



Craig Williams, picture Sportpix.com.au

Beau Mertens, who was presented with the Victorian and Metropolitan Apprentice Premiership Awards during the evening, was fourth with 40 votes, while 2016 Scobie Breasley Medallist Dwayne Dunn (39), who beat Williams by four votes in last year’s award, finished in fifth position.

Filling the remaining spaces in the top 10 were apprentice Ben Allen (33), Mark Zahra (28), Jordan Childs (26) – the son of 1998 Scobie Breasley Medallist Greg Childs, apprentice Ben Thompson (25) and Brad Rawiller (17).

The Scobie Breasley Medal, which was established in 1996, honours the late Hall of Fame jockey, with votes awarded on a 3-2-1 basis by RV Stewards for the ride deemed to be the best at each metropolitan race meeting of the season.

Williams’ consistent polling throughout the campaign was the key to his success, earning at least one vote across 29 individual metropolitan meetings and on two occasions scoring multiple votes at the one meeting.

Whilst Williams was celebrating his fifth Scobie Breasley Medal success, connections of Winx, who stretched her unbeaten run to 19 yesterday, were just as jubilant.

The Chris Waller-trained mare, who is bidding to win her third straight Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) this year, was honoured with the coveted Victorian Racehorse of the Year award for the first time, polling 130 votes with Black Heart Bart, a four-time Group 1 winner in the 2016-17 season, in second place with 64.

Winx’s unbeaten two-start campaign on Victorian tracks culminated in a second successive victory in the Cox Plate, where she beat a world-class field by a record margin of eight lengths. That came two weeks after her win over Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.

Tied for third place in the Victorian Racehorse of the Year Award on 34 votes were Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Almandin and BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) winner Jameka.
Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) winner Hartnell, who was placed in the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup, rounded out the top five with nine votes.

The Hayes-Hayes-Dabernig team were recognised for a stellar season by claiming their first Fred Hoysted Medal. The medal is presented to the trainer(s) who, in the eyes of the voting panel, produced the most outstanding training performance of the season at a Victorian race meeting with votes awarded on 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

The trio were adjudged the winners based on their training efforts on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day in February 2017 when Catchy’s win in the $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) was followed up by Sheidel, who won the $500,000 Resimax Oakleigh Plate (1100m) to register a quickfire Group 1 double for the stable.

Team Hayes received 82 votes for their achievement – just one vote more than Waller for the Cox Plate win of Winx and seven clear of trainer Robert Hickmott (75) for the Melbourne Cup win of Almandin.

In a hotly contested award, Ciaron Maher received 74 votes for guiding Regina Coeli to a second Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m) win, while Team Hayes received 68 votes for Redkirk Warrior’s effort to become the first horse in a century to win the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up from a spell.

Other winners on the night included Archie Alexander, who claimed the Colin Alderson Rising Star Award, which recognises a Victorian-based trainer 40-years and younger who has held their training licence for no more than seven seasons.

Alexander, who is based at Ballarat and trained his first winner in Victoria in 2014, enjoyed a stellar 2016-17 season preparing 34 winners – double his 2015-16 season tally – including nine metropolitan winners.

For the second year in succession, the Tommy Corrigan Medal, awarded to the leading jumps jockey across Victorian and South Australian jumps races during the 2016-17 season, went the way of Irishman John Allen, but only narrowly.

With votes awarded on 2-1 basis by officiating Stewards for the two best rides at each jumps racing meeting, Allen registered 12 votes to defeat Richard Cully by one. Leading flat rider Jamie Mott continued his emergence as a talented jumps jockey filling third on nine votes with Martin Kelly and Paul Hamblin tied for fourth on eight votes.

Premier trainer Darren Weir was recognised for his record-breaking season being presented with both the Victorian and Metropolitan Trainers’ Premiership Awards for the third year in a row having prepared 416 and 137 winners respectively.

Dean Yendall, a regular jockey for the Weir stable, again claimed the Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership, having ridden 138 winners across the state last season.

The Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners’ Association (TROA) Victorian Owner of the Year Award was presented to David Hayes, whose 19 metropolitan wins was the most by a Victorian resident.

The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Victoria (TBV) Champion Victorian Sire Award went to Woodside Park stallion Written Tycoon, while Gilgai Farm received the TBV Leading Victorian Breeder Award.

Written Tycoon’s progeny earned a grand total of $7,793,810 on Australian racetracks throughout the season. That figure was bolstered by victory in 13 stakes races, most notably Tycoon Tara’s win in the Group 1 Tatts Tiara at Doomben.

For the second consecutive year, Nagambie’s famed Gilgai Farm has won the Leading Victorian Breeder Award. Thirty-five graduates of Gilgai’s pastures raced in Australia throughout the season, accruing total earnings of $4,439,030. The outstanding performer was Jameka, who won more than $3 million in prizemoney last season.

The full list of the 2017 award winners is:

• Scobie Breasley Medal – Craig Williams
• Fred Hoysted Medal – David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig
• Tommy Corrigan Medal – John Allen
• Victorian Racehorse of the Year – Winx
• Colin Alderson Rising Star – Archie Alexander
• TROA Victorian Owner of the Year – David Hayes
• TBV Champion Victorian Sire – Written Tycoon
• TBV Leading Victorian Breeder – Gilgai Farm
• Roy Higgins Medal (Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership) – Craig Williams (77 wins)
• Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership – Dean Yendall (138 wins)
• Metropolitan Apprentices’ Premiership – Beau Mertens (73 wins)
• Victorian Apprentices’ Premiership – Beau Mertens (104 wins)
• Metropolitan Trainers’ Premiership – Darren Weir (137 wins)
• Victorian Trainers’ Premiership – Darren Weir (416 wins)
 
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