IF ONLY it was this easy to pick all the winners.
The men behind the champion Black Caviar and the great mare herself, dominated last night's Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Awards, with Luke Nolen, Peter Moody and the world's best sprinter all delivering, as expected, in the race to win the state's major racing awards for top rider, trainer, horse and most memorable event.
The only thing they didn't win was an award they were not up for - the Tommy Corrigan Medal for leading jumps rider - that, hardly surprisingly, went to Steven Pateman for the fifth time, a victory that leaves him only one behind record-holder Craig Durden.
Nolen, despite several weeks' absence from Melbourne tracks while he was interstate and overseas riding Moody's horses at carnivals, narrowly pipped Craig Newitt for the metropolitan jockeys' title last month.
But it was a different story last night as he took out the coveted Scobie Breasley Medal for the second consecutive year with less of a struggle.
Nolen amassed 66 votes, 15 clear of Dwayne Dunn (51), with Craig Williams, who missed a quarter of the season through his commitments interstate and in Japan, polling 40 votes in an award in which the stewards vote on a 3-2-1 basis for the best three rides at every metropolitan meeting.
Newitt, who had pushed Nolen so hard in the jockeys' championship, did not fare as well as many predicted, scoring 32 votes - enough to tie for sixth position with Nick Hall, but behind Ben Melham (35) and Damien Oliver, a multiple Breasley Medal winner, with 34.
Moody, who secured his third Victorian trainers' premiership in succession a fortnight ago, went back-to-back in the premier award, the Fred Hoysted Medal, scoring in relatively bloodless fashion from Mikel Delzangles, the trainer of French Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden, who was thwarted in his bid to become the first overseas handler to win the award.
Moody received 60 votes, with Delzangles (who also took the Geelong Cup with the same horse) on 44.
Third home on 39 was Robert Smerdon, whose versatility makes him one of the contemporary greats as he is as comfortable saddling up a classic winner such as Mosheen on the flat as a steeplechaser or hurdler in a Grand National. He polled strongly for his terrific performances throughout the autumn not just with Mosheen but with his jumpers and flat horses at the Warrnambool carnival.
It wasn't just Black Caviar who swung it for Moody, however. The judges scored him highly for his transformation of the imported grey galloper Manighar, who, when in the care of Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani, was better known as a dour stayer who was good, but not quite good enough, to score in the Caulfield and Melbourne cups.
Under Moody, the gelded son of Linamix became Australia's star middle-distance performer, winning the Carlyon Cup at group 3 level over 1600 metres first up en route to a win in the Australian Cup (2000 metres) before heading north to star at the Sydney autumn.
Black Caviar is the non pareil of the turf, and the voting reflected it as she scooped the horse of the year award with 156 votes, 100 more than the filly regarded as her heir-apparent, Atlantic Jewell (56) , with another female, Mosheen, finishing third on 34.
The great mare also won the most memorable racing moment award hands down, with 38.3 per cent of voters nominating her stirring win over the gallant Hay List in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington as the race that stuck strongest in the memory. Black Caviar had won the Orr Stakes at Caulfield over 1400 metres a week earlier and Moody made the surprise call to drop her back to 1000 metres to face her old nemesis in the most trying of circumstances that day. She prevailed, but only after a wonderful battle between the pair. There can be little argument over Pateman's award, secured with 53 votes, 40 more than runner-up, Irishman John Allen.
SCOBIE BREASLEY MEDAL
1 Luke Nolen 66
2 Dwayne Dunn 51
3 Craig Williams 40
4 Ben Melham 35
5 Damien Oliver 34
6 Craig Newitt, Nick Hall 32
FRED HOYSTED MEDAL
1 Peter Moody 60
2 Mikel Delzangles 44
3 Robert Smerdon (39)
4 Ciaron Maher (30)
5 Nigel Blackiston (25)
6 Mick Clark (12)
HORSE OF THE YEAR
1 Black Caviar 156
2 Atlantic Jewel (56)
3 Mosheen (34)
4 Dunaden (25)
5 Manighar (12)
TOMMY CORRIGAN MEDAL
1 Steven Pateman 53
2 John Allen (13)
3 Gavin Bedgood (12)
4 Brad McLean (11)
5 Trent Wells (8)
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT (PERCENTAGE OF VOTE)
1 Black Caviar beats Hay List in Lightning Stakes 38.3
2 Dunaden beats Red Cadeaux in Melbourne Cup 23.2
3 The first race win by 37kg apprentice Jake Bayliss at Werribee 17.5
4 Steven Pateman's domination at Warrnambool 10.9
5 Craig Williams Cox Plate winning ride on Pinker Pinker 10.1