|A win in
Saturday's Hiskens Steeplechase at Moonee Valley sealed a back to back Champion Jumper
title for the dashing 'chaser St. Steven.
historic win in the Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan unable to be taken into account,
Saturday's win would have been the deciding factor with most voters.
In the end the John Wheeler trained gelding, who attended
the wedding of one of his part owners at Mornington on Sunday, polled 40 votes from a
The Grand National Hurdle winner Zabenz and St. Steven's
classy stablemate Crafty Dancer were the only other horses to attract votes from the
Victorian and South Australian judges.
As well as winning the Hiskens Steeplechase, St. Steven
took the jumps event run in his honour at Moonee Valley as well as winning a race on the
flat at the same track.
A son of Hula Town, St. Steven is part owned by John
Wheeler and a syndicate from the Pearcedale Cricket Club headed by Norm Goedheer.
Like his success in Saturday's Hiskens Steeple, tonight's
award win was a back to back success.
Last year just a few days after winning the Hiskens he was
crowned the champion jumper for the first time.
The connections of St. Steven will be hoping history keeps
repeating itself as the gelding is being set to defend his crown in the Nakayama Grand
Jump - the world's richest jumping event.
St. Steven beat a fine line up of jumpers for this year's
title including the Grand National Hurdle winner Zabenz, the Grand Annual winner Hibernian
Prince, the Australian Hurdle winner Blue Star and his stablemate and Australian and Grand
National Steeple winner Crafty Dancer.
THE FINAL VOTES
St. Steven (NZ) 40
Zabenz (NZ) 6
Crafty Dancer (NZ) 5