West Australian sprinting sensation SCENIC BLAST has been crowned the 2008/09 Australian Racehorse of the Year, presented by Luxbet.com at Palladium at Crown.
SCENIC BLAST earned 55% of the overall votes to cap an outstanding season of racing. The Danny Morton-trained five-year-old won four of his eight starts including the Flemington sprint double, the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) and the $1 million Group 1 Crown Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the Melbourne Festival of Racing.
The champion gelding went on to represent Australia with distinction at Royal Ascot in the United Kingdom in June, blitzing his foreign rivals in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes.
In a memorable night for connections, SCENIC BLAST was also named the IRT Champion Australian-Trained International and Inglis Bloodstock Champion Sprinter.
2008 Emirates Melbourne Cup winner VIEWED was named New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing Champion Stayer, while PHELAN READY capped an emotional year for the McLachlan family winning the Yallambee Stud Champion Two Year Old Award after the passing of his trainer, legendary Queensland mentor Bruce McLachlan, during the season.
The other highlight of the evening was the elevation of one of Australia's greatest ever jockeys Arthur 'Scobie' Breasley to 1300 Australia Racing Hall of Fame Legend as voted on by the public. Breasley joins inaugural Hall of Fame Legend Phar Lap and Cups King Bart Cummings.
Seven racing icons were also officially inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame:
Crown Metropol Hall of Fame Jockeys - Jim Johnson and Harold Badger
Tyrrell’s Wines Hall of Fame Trainers - Bayly Payten and Jack Green
Commotion Creative Hall of Fame Horses - Strawberry Road and Comic Court
Fineline Hall of Fame Associate - Bill Whittaker
The full list of Australian Racehorse of the Year category award winners is:
Champion Group 1 Jockey - Nash Rawiller
Champion Group 1 Trainer - Gai Waterhouse
Carazzo Consulting CPAs Champion Sire - Encosta de Lago
Crown Towers Champion Jumper - Pentiffic
Aushorse Marketing Champion Australian-Bred International - Sacred Kingdom
IRT Champion Australian-Trained International - Scenic Blast
Yallambee Stud Champion Two Year Old - Phelan Ready
New Zealand Bloodstock Champion Three Year Old Filly - Samantha Miss
Staging Connections Champion Three Year Old Colt or Gelding - Whobegotyou
Inglis Thoroughbred Auctioneers Champion Sprinter - Scenic Blast
Mittys Middle Distance Champion - Theseo
New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing Champion Stayer - Viewed
Australian Racehorse of the Year presented by Luxbet.com - Scenic Blast