JUMPS jockey Steven Pateman etched his name into the record books during last week’s Tabcorp May Racing Carnival.
The 28-year-old won five of the six jumps races contested, including the feature Galleywood Hurdle and Grand Annual Steeplechase.
The only race he didn’t win was the Brierly Steeplechase, when he opted to ride second placegetter Megapixel after having first option to ride the winner, the Robert Smerdon-trained Fareer.
His performance in winning five of the six races eclipsed former Kiwi jockey Brett Scott’s effort of four wins from five races at the 1997 carnival. That year Scott won the Brierly-Grand Annual double on the great Foxboy.
Pateman, who was the form jumps jockey of last season, confirmed his reputation as one of the greats, despite his tender years. In fact, he only rode his first May carnival winner last year when he took veteran Al Garhood to victory in the Grand Annual Steeplechase.
He became the 14th jockey in the race’s 140-year history to win consecutive Grand Annuals and the first since Scott in 1997-98. In the past 50 years, only five jockeys have achieved the feat.
Former Racing Victoria chairman of stewards Des Gleeson, who has watched more than 50 Grand Annuals, said Pateman was an excellent horseman.
Gleeson said Pateman had to be regarded as one of Australia’s greatest jumps jockeys.
“His ride on Awakening Dream was 10 out of 10,” Gleeson said.
“He set the tempo, dictated the pace and won the race.”
Patrick Payne, who trained Grand Annual winner Awakening Dream, revealed Pateman’s professionalism to reporters after their 15-length win in the famous race.
Payne said Pateman’s success was no fluke.
He said the jockey was meticulous in his preparation, helping with track work and in the case of Awakening Dream made a special girth he and his girlfriend Katja sewed so the saddle wouldn’t slip back.
Fellow trainer Smerdon several times praised Pateman, who rode three winners for him, including Black And Bent in the Galleywood.
Smerdon said Pateman’s ride in the Galleywood was patient and smart, ensuring the star jumper was out of trouble.
“He did a good job. He rode the percentages,” Smerdon said.
“He came out from the fence and gave him (Black And Bent) a good look at his jumps.”