The proposed date of 19 August came and went in lockdown for the NSW Racehorse Owners Association’s Racing’s Night of Champions, however the awarding of titles for the ‘Best of the Best’ for the 20/21 season proceeded as usual this year. Winners were announced throughout the day on social media during the Australian Turf Club’s Rosehill meeting at Kembla Grange.
“We were delighted to collaborate with the ATC in announcing our winners on what was not only San Domenico Stakes Day, but also their Owners Celebration Day,” said NSWROA President Tony Mitevski. “With most of the owners of our finalists in lockdown, having the winners announced via social media and mentioned on SKY during the ATC’s race day was a perfect solution and we are very grateful for their support.”
The finalists were arrived at using a points system, with the shortlists then being put to a voting panel of industry experts for final selection.
The Champion Two-Year-Old Award, sponsored by Arrowfield Stud, was taken out by the impressive Golden Slipper winner, STAY INSIDE.
Winner of the Caulfield Guineas and the Golden Rose, OLE KIRK took out the Champion Three-Year-Old Award, sponsored by Inglis.
Champion Sprinter of the Year Award was won by the evergreen NATURE STRIP, based on his scintillating win in the T J Smith, the Lightning Stakes and three Group placings.
CASCADIAN (GB) was crowned Champion Miler of the Year, sponsored by Wild Oaks. His win in the $3m Doncaster Hcp was supported by G1 placings in the Cantala Stakes and All Aged Stakes as well as placing in the G3 Newmarket from only four starts during the season.
Champion Middle Distance Horse, sponsored by New Zealand Bloodstock, went to VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ), for her fighting wins in The Ranvet and the Turnbull Stakes.
The Champion Stayer Award winner, sponsored by Gow-Gates, was VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ) for her win in the $5m Caulfield Cup.
The title of Queen of the Autumn, judged by the ATC, is bestowed on the best performed female across the Sydney Carnival in fillies and mares’ races. It was won by the dual Group 1 winning HUNGRY HEART. Sponsored by the NSW Trainers’ Association, the award is dedicated to trainer and NSWTA Board member, the late Rick Worthington.
The Champion Provincial Horse title, sponsored by Vinery, went to THINK IT OVER. The winner of the G1 George Ryder and two G3 races, the Kerry Parker trained, Kembla Grange based gelding has amassed over $1.5m in prizemoney.
Champion Country Horse, sponsored by Gow-Gates, was taken out by IT’S ME, winner of The Kosciuszko and trained by Scone-based mentor, Brett Cavanough. The mare has many enthusiastic owners scattered throughout Australia.
Unsurprisingly, the pinnacle title of NSW Horse of the Year was awarded to VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ) considering her amazing record during the 20/21 season of five Group 1 wins.
NSWROA President, Mr Tony Mitevski added, “My thanks to our wonderful sponsors, congratulations to all winners and let’s hope that we can celebrate on Racing’s Night of Champions next year.”
– Media Release