Australasian Oaks: Media Award’s ‘unbelievable’ win gets party started for trainer Chris Calthorpe

Morphettville, and in particular a couple of on-course bars, were rocking when roughy Media Award stormed home to win the Group 1 Australasian Oaks on Saturday.

Cheered on by a large group of owners from the Lavington Panthers Football Club (Ovens and Murray Football League) the Chris Calthorpe-trained three-year-old brought up its third consecutive win – stepping up from a recent Benchmark 64 win at Geelong to the $502,250 major feature.

Unwanted in betting at $61, Media Award, under the cool guidance of jockey Luke Nolen, defied Personal ($16) and Ripper Rita ($31) to grab a slice of racing’s national spotlight.

An emotional Calthorpe, who playfully threw away his mobile phone when wellwishers interrupted the presentation ceremony, said he always believed his charge was a chance.

“This is a massive thrill. I have had a few horses here trained by Dan O’Sullivan over the years but nothing like this,’’ Calthorpe said.

“But to come here for this result is unbelievable.

“We thought she was a chance. She is a horse on the way up, has a great attitude and is a horse with a lot to offer.

“We will go home tomorrow but first I think there will be a big night out … somewhere.’’


Chris Calthorpe's FIRST ever Group One runner takes out the Australasian Oaks!

Media Award gets the chocolates with Luke Nolen onboard

While there were several outstanding runs from the placegetters there was no fairytale for the previously unbeaten Tasmanian star Hela which ran last after leading early.

Steinem also looked to have the run of the race from barrier one but did not let down to finish ninth.

Pre-race attention was on the rotten luck suffered by jockey Jess Eaton who was forced to miss her first Group 1 ride when she was injured in a fall on Pelonomena in the Port Adelaide Cup.

On Saturday night she was having scans on what was believed to be leg injuries.

Meanwhile, Beau Rossa ($5EF) looks almost certain to line up in the Group 1 The Goodwood on May 15 after an outstanding win in the Group 2 Tobin Bronze Stakes over 1200m.

Ridden confidently by Todd Pannell, the Will Clarken trained runner sat off the leaders and then pulled out wide to charge home, accounting for Litchfield County and Ranting.

Backing up over the 1200m after being a good thing beaten recently at Caulfield over 1600m Clarken said it was hopefully all systems go towards the Goodwood.

“We will see how he pulls up but that (Goodwood) is probably likely,’’ Clarken said.

“Last start (Caulfield) he was a bit stiff but today he just ran them down well.

“He’s been a bit of a tricky horse but if he pulls up okay then the Goodwood is where we will probably go to.

“He is one of the best horses I have put a saddle on.

“I think it will be scary what he could do off a good tempo. I think he can show an amazing turn of foot.’’

Originally published asMedia Award a headline act in Oaks boilover

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