Zed Em

Steve Pateman wins the Grand Annual Steeplechase on Zed Em (Racing Photos)

Tommy Corrigan Medal finalists revealed

The five jumps jockeys in the running for the coveted Tommy Corrigan Medal, named in honour of the champion hoop of the late 1800s, have today been announced by Racing Victoria (RV).  

In alphabetical order, the quintet in contention to receive the medal during the 2019 Victorian Racing Awards, held at Crown Aviary this Saturday night (7 September), are as follows: Richard Cully, Shane Jackson, Steven Pateman, Tom Ryan and Thomas Sadler

Awarded to the most outstanding jumps jockey of the 2018-19 season, the Tommy Corrigan Medal is one of seven prizes which will be handed out during the Victorian racing industry’s gala night. 

The panel of stewards at each jumps meeting held in Victoria and South Australia last season lodged their votes on a two-one basis for the best rides of the day.

Cully, Jackson, Pateman, Ryan and Sadler polled the highest number of votes, with one of the five set to succeed last year’s Tommy Corrigan Medal winner Martin Kelly as the country’s pre-eminent jumps jockey. 

Cully enjoyed another outstanding season, headlined by his association with champion jumper Wells, trained by Kathryn Durden. 

With Cully in the saddle, the 12-year-old claimed the 14th and 15th wins of a glittering career in successive races, following up his victory in the Mosstrooper Steeplechase (3500m) at Pakenham on 21 July with a gutsy defeat of Slowpoke Rodriguez – who was carrying six kilograms less – in the Crisp Steeplechase (4200m) at Sandown on 4 August. 

Jackson’s stellar campaign included another successful Warrnambool May Racing Carnival, in which he registered back-to-back winners on the opening day. He has also formed a close association this season with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable, most notably through emerging hurdler Goodwood Zodiac. 

Pateman, an eight-time Tommy Corrigan Medallist, was the dominant rider during the May Carnival, landing two of the showpiece’s three feature races with Bit of a Lad taking out the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) on the opening day, before Patrick Payne’s grand old warrior Zed Em turned the tables on Gold Medals with a thrilling win in the Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m). It was Zed Em’s third consecutive steeplechase victory, following his previous wins in the Von Doussa (3250m) and the Great Eastern (4950m) in South Australia with Pateman aboard in both.          

Irishman Ryan’s campaign included 13 wins and 19 placings from 94 rides across Victoria and South Australia, whilst former flat jockey Sadler enjoyed a highly encouraging first full season over the jumps, with his 92 rides producing 13 winners and 30 minor placings.

As well as the Tommy Corrigan Medal winner, the recipient of the prestigious Scobie Breasley Medal will also be revealed at the Victorian Racing Awards, which will be hosted by Channel 7 and Racing.com presenter, Jason Richardson. The star-studded event will also feature several other awards celebrating the achievements on Victorian racetracks of some of the country’s, and indeed the world’s, best jockeys, trainers and horses.