Jockey Brad Rawiller has capped a remarkable comeback to horse racing by earning this month's PEAK Bendigo Sports Star of the Year nomination.
Rawiller steered long shot Black Heart Bart to a Group One win in the prestigious 1800 metres Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on Sunday, September 29.
The unexpected win was Rawiller's first for almost 12 months, having just completed rehabilitation and recovery from a broken neck sustained in a race fall at Cranbourne back in October 2018.
Following his fairytale return in September, an emotional Rawiller described the win as one of the most significant in his career.
"I've won a Golden Slipper and a Caulfield Cup and I never looked like getting teary, and I'm nearly in tears," Rawiller said.
"It's just amazing.
"I can't put it into words.... Since coming back from my broken neck it's been a long road."
Rawiller has ridden Black Heart Bart in all of his six Group One victories.
Another major contender for the Sports Star nomination included the rising star of women's track cycling in Australia, Alessia McHaig.
McHaig dominated the Oceania Track Championships in New Zealand, with the 16-year-old winning two gold and two silver medals at her first international meet at senior level.
She won the team time trial and 500m time trial, and was runner-up in the sprint and keirin.
Swimmer Jenna Strauch won gold in the 200m and 100m breaststroke finals at the Australian Short Course Swimming Championships held in Melbourne. Aged 22, Strauch is aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Triathlete Nathan Meade achieved a top 100 finish in the 30-34 years category at the gruelling Kona Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.
Meade completed the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run in 9 hours 52 minutes. He was 94th of 167 in his age group and 458th in a field of 2370.
Other athletes to come under consideration included boxer Brad Morgan, cricketer Xavier Crone, soccer stars Maximillian Shanahan and Stephen Barrett and elite runner Andy Buchanan.
Cyclist Jason Lea was also in contention, while footballer Zac Sheehan earned his nomination as a member of the Hawthorn side that won the inaugural Victorian Blind Football League grand final against the Western Bulldogs.