Blake Shinn claims second Scobie Breasley Medal
Star jockey Blake Shinn has claimed his second Scobie Breasley Medal and Anamoe has been crowned Victorian Racehorse of the Year at the 2023 Victorian Racing Awards.
After returning to Victoria following a three-year riding stint in Hong Kong, Shinn capped a stellar 2022-23 season with a runaway win in the Scobie Breasley Medal–18 years after first claiming the coveted prize as a young apprentice jockey.
The Scobie Breasley Medal recognises the rider who has excelled above all others with votes awarded on a 3-2-1 basis by Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards at each metropolitan meeting throughout the 12-month season which concluded on 31 July 2023.
Shinn polled an impressive 61 votes to take the prize ahead of 11-time winner Damien Oliver on 39 votes. Rounding out the top five were Damian Lane (36), five-time winner Craig Williams (33) and 2021 winner Jamie Kah (30).
- Black Shinn - 61 votes
- Damien Oliver - 39 votes
- Damian Lane - 36 votes
- Craig Williams - 33 votes
- Jamie Kah - 30 votes
It stamped a memorable season for Shinn with the 35-year-old also collecting his first Roy Higgins Medal as the winner of the Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership with 66 victories, including the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) aboard Alligator Blood.
Recently retired Anamoe comfortably took home the title of Victorian Racehorse of the Year with 115 votes secured from the voting panel comprising members of the racing media, Victoria’s racecallers, and the chief handicapper.
- Anamoe - 115 votes
- Alligator Blood - 43 votes
- Gold Trip - 40 votes
- In Secret - 26 votes
- Mr Brightside - 12 votes
Trained by James Cummings for Godolphin, Anamoe created a lasting impression during the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival with a pair of Group 1 wins in the Might and Power (2000m) and the $5 million Cox Plate (2040m).
For the third consecutive year, the dominant Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable secured the Fred Hoysted Medal, which recognises excellence in the training ranks – both on and off the track – and is decided by a committee of Victorian racing administrators and members of the media.
Maher and Eustace enjoyed another dominant season in Victoria which saw them train 266 winners statewide, including the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip, and claim both the Victorian and Metropolitan Trainers’ Premierships.
Among their achievements was the rare feat of training the winner of Victoria’s two 1000-metre Group 1 races – the Moir Stakes and Black Caviar Lightning (both Coolangatta) – along with its longest race, the Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m), with Rockstar Ronnie.
Former star jumps jockey Clayton Douglas took home the Colin Alderson Award which recognises an emerging talent among Victoria’s training ranks who is aged 40 and under and has been licensed as a trainer for no more than seven seasons.
Only three years into his training career, Douglas has won widespread acclaim for his handling of star sprinter Giga Kick, one of 11 individual horses to grace the winner’s stall in Victoria for Douglas in a breakout 2022-23 season.
The Tommy Corrigan Medal, which recognises the standout jumps rider of the season as voted by RV Stewards, was won for the first time by New Zealand native Aaron Kuru.
In his third full season in Victoria, 32-year-old Kuru topped the premiership and celebrated major wins aboard Britannicus in the 3YB FM Scotty Stewart Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) and Elvison in the Ecycle Two Rivers Steeplechase (3800m).
In other awards, another former Kiwi, Daniel Stackhouse, was presented with his maiden Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership and was voted by his peers as the VJA Most Valuable Jockey in the state last season.
Carleen Hefel was acknowledged for her maiden triumphs in the Victorian and Metropolitan Apprentices’ Premierships, while the person she overcame in her battle for those titles, Celine Gaudray, was voted the VJA Rising Star by her fellow riders.
For the first time, the Victorian Racing Awards also included RV’s Retrainer of the Year awards which recognise excellence in the retraining and rehoming of retired racehorses.
Myrniong-based Louise Abey was named the RV Acknowledged Retrainer of the Year from the network of more than 50 retrainers who are part of RV’s Off The Track program. She collected a prize of $5,000 with her award.
Anakie-based Jessica Cocks was named the RV Emerging Retrainer of the Year which recognises a person that has been an acknowledged retrainer for less than three years. She collected a prize of $1,000 with her award.
The full list of awards presented at the 2023 Victorian Racing Awards are as follows:
- Scobie Breasley Medal- Blake Shinn
- Victorian Racehorse of the Year- Anamoe
- Fred Hoysted Medal- Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
- Colin Alderson Award- Clayton Douglas
- Tommy Corrigan Medal - Aaron Kuru
- VJA Most Valuable Jockey- Daniel Stackhouse
- VJA Rising Star- Celine Gaudray
- RV Acknowledged Retrainer of the Year – Louise Abey
- RV Emerging Retrainer of the Year– Jessica Cocks
- Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership (Roy Higgins Medal) - Blake Shinn (66 wins)
- Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership - Daniel Stackhouse (127 wins)
- Metropolitan Apprentices’ Premiership - Carleen Hefel (38 wins)
- Victorian Apprentices’ Premiership - Carleen Hefel (85 wins)
- Metropolitan Trainers’ Premiership- Ciaron Maher and David Eustace (97 wins)
- Victorian Trainers’ Premiership - Ciaron Maher and David Eustace (266 wins)