The final Best Bets Star of the Saddle for the 2019 Spring Racing Carnival will be awarded tomorrow at Flemington with plenty on the line for the riders competing on iconic AAMI Victoria Derby Day.
The best and fairest jockey across the nine races will be awarded a $100,000 cash prize and take away four race saddles valued at $3,000 courtesy of leading manufacturer Peter Horobin Saddlery.
Having launched at Flemington on TAB Turnbull Stakes Day (5 October), the Star of the Saddle has witnessed fierce competition among the riders over the past four weekends and rewarded those who have supported the Spring Racing Carnival.
Six riders have shared in a total of $300,000 in prizes thus far with two of the four weekends delivering nail-biting ties. The winners thus far have been:
- Jordan Childs (Turnbull Stakes Day, $50,000)
- Kerrin McEvoy and Damian Lane (Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Day, $25,000 each)
- Craig Williams (Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Day, $100,000)
- Jamie Kah and Dwayne Dunn (Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival, $50,000 each)
With points again allocated on a 3-2-1 basis for the first three placegetters in each race, consistency will be the key to securing the Star of the Saddle on Derby Day.
Hall of Fame jockey Hugh Bowman has the chance to be handsomely rewarded for saddling up at Flemington on Derby Day with an impressive book of rides.
The visiting Sydney jockey has rides in all nine races including highly fancied three-year-olds Flit (G.H.Mumm Wakeful Stakes), Bivouac (Coolmore Stud Stakes) and Dalasan (Network 10 Carbine Club Stakes).
With Dalasan hunting a $1 million Spring Racing Carnival bonus for three-year-old milers, it could prove an extremely fruitful day for Bowman who will collect $50,000 (5% of the bonus) if the South Australian colt can land the Carbine Club Stakes.
Bowman is one of four riders currently with engagements in every race on the day at Flemington. The others with rides in all nine races are Craig Williams, Dwayne Dunn and Mark Zahra who, like Bowman, is chasing his first Star of the Saddle.
Another Hall of Fame member hoping to break through for a maiden Star of the Saddle is Damien Oliver who had bookings in all races prior to the early scratching of Youngstar, his mount in the Lexus Hotham Handicap (2500m).
As in previous weeks, the highest points scorer on the day will be crowned the Star of the Saddle, provided that they have not been suspended during the course of the race meeting for breaches of Australian Rules of Racing 131 (Riding Offences) and/or 132 (Whip Use).
If the highest points scorer is suspended for breaching AR 131 and/or 132 during the race meeting, the prize will be awarded to the second highest points scorer and so on until such time as the best and fairest jockey is determined.
In the case of a tie, the cash prize will again be shared equally by those eligible riders on the highest number of points and a countback will not be conducted.
In the event of a dead heat, the points will be split as follows:
- Dead heat for first – first 2.5 points each, third 1 point;
- Dead heat for second – first 3 points, second 1.5 points each; and
- Dead heat for third – first 3 points, second 2 points, third 0.5 points each.