The Victorian Racing Awards

The Victorian Racing Awards were held last Wednesday 26 August as a live broadcast on, hosted by Jason Richardson and Grace Ramage. 

With a physical event not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions, the broadcast enabled all within the Victorian racing industry to celebrate the successes of the 2019/20 season from the comforts of their home and hear from all winners. 

Champion jockey Damien Oliver claimed his 11th Scobie Breasley Medal to again be crowned Victoria’s premier jockey. Oliver polled 61 votes to claim Victorian racing’s most prestigious annual award, 10 ahead of his closest rival Dwayne Dunn on 51 votes. Five-time Scobie Breasley medallist Craig Williams took out third place with 43 votes ahead of apprentice Michael Poy (37) and Jye McNeil (36).

Australia’s sprinting superstar Nature Strip, one of only three horses to win multiple Group 1 races in Victoria during the 2019/20 season took out the Victorian Racehorse of the Year Award. 

Danny O’Brien was awarded his first Fred Hoysted Medal, having produced amazing training performances with Vow And Declare (Melbourne Cup), Russian Camelot (SA Derby) and Miami Bound (VRC Oaks). He amassed 100 winners at a strike rate of 17.7% up from 62 winners at 15.5% the season prior.  O’Brien’s engagement with a broad range of media and his behind-the-scenes social media content documenting the campaigns of Vow And Declare and Russian Camelot were among his contributions to win praise from the judging panel.

Young Caulfield trainer Nick Ryan was a worthy winner of the Colin Alderson Rising Star Award, which is open to Victorian-based trainers 40 years and under with no more than seven racing seasons’ training experience. 

Irish-born Shane Jackson won the Tommy Corrigan Medal for the second year in a row as the leading jumps jockey in Victoria and South Australia with votes awarded at each meeting in the 2019/20 season by RV and TRSA Stewards.

Two Victorian Jockeys’ Association (VJA) peer-voted awards were also presented as part of the broadcast with Damien Oliver and Jye McNeil declared joint winners by their fellow riders as the VJA Most Valuable Jockey. Up-and-coming apprentice Will Price was recognised for his extraordinary debut season when voted by his fellow riders as the winner of the VJA Rising Star Award. After debuting as a 19-year-old in September 2019, Price went on to ride 85 winners in less than 10 months.

Also presented during the broadcast were the 2019/20 Premiership Winners, including: 

  • Will Price, Victorian Apprentice Premiership
  • Michael Poy, Metropolitan Apprentice Premiership
  • Jye McNeil, Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership
  • Craig Williams, Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership
  • Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Victorian Trainers’ Premiership
  • David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Metropolitan Trainers’ Premiership

Watch the Victorian Racing Awards: