Reigning Emirates Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Damien Oliver cemented his status as a legend of Australian racing when he won a record seventh Scobie Breasley Medal tonight in Melbourne.
Oliver comfortably saw off a late challenge from Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership winner Brad Rawiller to secure the 2014 Scobie Breasley Medal at an intimate evening with the stars at Crown.
Votes for the Scobie Breasley Medal are lodged on a 3-2-1 basis by Racing Victoria (RV) stewards after each of the 110 metropolitan meetings of the 2013-14 season for the rides deemed the best.
Despite missing a quarter of the season as a result of suspension and riding abroad, Oliver amassed 58 votes to assign Rawiller (44) to second place – one position higher than the runner-up’s previous best effort in 2009 and 2013.
For the sixth time in his career Craig Newitt (38) filled a top three position on the vote tally, taking third place ahead of previous winner Glen Boss (29) and veteran Dwayne Dunn (28).
Oliver, who had previously won the Medal in its 1996 inauguration, as well as in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, secured the top votes from stewards at 14 meetings last season.
The award provided the highlight on a memorable night for the 42-year-old who also collected the inaugural Roy Higgins Medal as the winner of last season’s Victorian Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership.
Whilst Oliver was celebrating the historic triumph, the connections of Fiorente – the horse he partnered in two Group 1 wins last season – were toasting the stallion’s TVN Victorian Racehorse of the Year title.
The now-retired hero had seven starts in Victoria during the 2013-14 season, with two Group 1 wins and two Group 2 wins for trainer Gai Waterhouse, headlined by his Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) success in spring and his Darley Australian Cup (2000m) triumph in autumn.
The voting was tight with Fiorente (116 votes) narrowly defeating star sprinter Lankan Rupee (103), with Cox Plate winner Shamus Award (25) and Atlantic Jewel (19) rounding out the top four.
Caulfield trainer Mick Price was awarded the Fred Hoysted Medal, which acknowledges the most outstanding training performance on a Victorian track, for preparing Lankan Rupee to an effortless win in the Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in March, a performance that saw him rated the world’s best sprinter.
Star jumps jockey Steven Pateman equalled the record held by Craig Durden when he claimed a seventh Tommy Corrigan Medal in eight years, securing 28 votes to defeat Arron Lynch and John Allen (13).
Oliver’s Roy Higgins Medal success came off the back of 59 metropolitan wins last season and was part of the Victorian Premiership Awards, presented by Wilson Medic One.
Rawiller was recognised for winning his sixth Victorian Jockey Premiership which came courtesy of 154 wins on 25 racetracks and for 37 trainers.
It was a successful night for Ballarat trainer Darren Weir whose 244 statewide winners, including 88 at metropolitan meetings, saw him clinch both the Victorian and Metropolitan Trainers’ Premierships. He was also named the Super VOBIS Trainer of the Year.
Katelyn Mallyon was presented with her second Victorian Metropolitan Apprentices Award thanks to 31 city winners last season, while Jye McNeil won his maiden Victorian Apprentices Award after a breakout season that saw him ride 66 winners across the state.
The VOBIS Horse of the Year title, taken out by Darren Weir’s popular money spinner Trust In A Gust, was one of 11 Victorian Owners and Breeders Awards presented tonight.
Contract Racing’s David and Jenny Moodie were the winners of five awards, including the Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association Metropolitan Owner of the Year on the back of feature wins to Solicit, Veuvelicious and Pillar Of Creation.
Eliza Park stalwart Bel Esprit was named TBV Champion Victorian Stallion for the seventh consecutive season, with Stakes winners Se Sauver and Angels Beach stepping up in the absence of previous banner horse Black Caviar.
Respected RSN form analyst Deane Lester was a popular winner of the VRMA Bert Wolfe Media Award, presented by the VRC.