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MOODY WINS FIFTH AUSTRALIAN HORSE OF YEAR TITLE WITH DISSIDENT
DISSIDENT has been crowned the 2014-15 BMW Australian Racehorse of the Year at a national awards ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The award caps a memorable year for the connections of the recently retired stallion who was awarded the Victorian Racehorse of the Year title in August.
In an outstanding four-year-old season, the Peter Moody-trained Dissident posted a nation-high four Group 1 victories – three over 1400 metres and one over 1600 metres.
It is the fifth time in six years that a Moody-trained galloper has been crowned Australian Racehorse of the Year after Black Caviar claimed a hat-trick in 2011-13 and Typhoon Tracy was successful in 2010.
Voted on by a national group of 56 racing media and handicappers, the award takes into account performances by all horses on Australian tracks, as well as international performances by Australian-trained gallopers during the 2014-15 racing season.
Dissident secured a dominant victory in the prestigious award, receiving a total of 119 votes - 61 clear of three-year-old Brazen Beau (58 votes), with Contributer (31) and Western Australian filly Delicacy (30) filling third and fourth positions respectively.
On a grand night for connections, Dissident, who now stands at Newgate Farm in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley, also claimed the Inglis Bloodstock Champion Sprinter of the Year title which covers performances in races up to and including 1400m.
Judges gave him the nod in that category after defeating fellow Champion Sprinter finalists Chautauqua and Terravista in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick in April – the third of his Group 1 victories over 1400 metres.
Dual Group 1 winner Brazen Beau was relegated to second behind Dissident in the Champion Sprinter category, but all was not lost for connections with the Chris Waller-trained speedster crowned Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding of the Year.
Godolphin’s imported entire Contributer was recognised for a standout maiden season down under, winning the Racing.com Champion Middle Distance Racehorse of the Year title which covers performances in races from 1401 metres to 2199 metres.
Under the training of John O’Shea, Contributer burst onto the Australian racing scene with an impressive victory in the Group 3 Coongy Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield in the spring before returning in the autumn to secure a Group 1 double in Sydney – the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
Star filly Delicacy was also recognised on the night, taking home the New Zealand Bloodstock Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year title.
The Grant Williams-trained daughter of Al Maher proved the dominant three-year-old over classic distances, winning both the West Australian Oaks (2400m) and West Australian Derby (2400m) in her home state, before travelling to Adelaide and securing the Australasian Oaks (2000m) and the South Australian Derby (2500m), to complete a winning streak of six black-type races.
Fellow long distance specialist Protectionist became the first German-trained horse to secure the Champion Stayer of the Year award, which recognises performances over 2200m and further, thanks to his near course record-breaking victory in the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
In the much anticipated Champion Two-Year-Old of the Year Award, Gai Waterhouse’s Golden Slipper (1200m)-winning colt Vancouver prevailed over Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and ATC Sires Produce (1400m) winner Pride of Dubai 162 votes to 105.
Evergreen jumper Bashboy secured his third Champion Jumper of the Year title in four years, capping a memorable season in which the Ciaron Maher-trained 12-year-old claimed a record third Grand National Steeplechase (4500m).
Coolmore’s prolific stallion Fastnet Rock was declared the VOBIS Sires Champion Sire Award amassing the highest progeny earnings of any stallion in the nation thanks in part to the deeds of his Group 1-winning trio First Seal, Amicus and Magicool.
Human heroes were also recognised on the night with Waller presented the Bart Cummings Award for a third successive year as the nation’s most successful Group 1-winning trainer, whilst Hugh Bowman was named Champion Group 1 jockey for the second time in three years.
Sydney-based Waller celebrated a record-breaking 14 Group 1 victories during the 2014-15 season, courtesy of the likes of Brazen Beau, Kermadec, Preferment and Winx, while Bowman piloted a personal-best nine winners at the highest level, with Hallowed Crown his only multiple winner.
The full list of award winners, including the voting breakdown for each, follows:
BMW Australian Racehorse of the Year – DISSIDENT
Dissident (119 votes), Brazen Beau (58), Contributer (31), Delicacy (30), Adelaide (20), Criterion (17), Chautauqua (13), Vancouver (12), Lankan Rupee (12), Protectionist (9), Mongolian Khan (4), Admire Rakti (2), First Seal (2), Hartnell (2), Fawkner (1), Hallowed Crown (1), Srikandi (1), Terravista (1), Winx (1).
Champion Two-Year-Old of the Year Award – VANCOUVER
Vancouver (162), Pride of Dubai (105), Pasadena Girl (32), Press Statement (11), English (8), Fontiton (8), Exosphere (4), Lucky Street (4), Headwater (2).
New Zealand Bloodstock Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year Award - DELICACY
Delicacy (137), First Seal (105), Winx (50), Set Square (18), Gust of Wind (8), Fenway (7), Fontein Ruby (4), Earthquake (3), Najoom (3), Amicus (1).
Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding of the Year Award – BRAZEN BEAU
Brazen Beau (151), Hallowed Crown (61), Kermadec (61), Mongolian Khan (19), Wandjina (17), Shooting To Win (12), Alpine Eagle (4), Volkstok’n’Barrell (3), Rich Enuff (3), Preferment (2). (3 votes awarded in ‘Other’ category to ineligible horse).
Inglis Bloodstock Champion Sprinter of the Year Award - DISSIDENT
Dissident (105), Brazen Beau (88), Chautauqua (70), Lankan Rupee (42), Terravista (13), Srikandi (8), Buffering (6), Boban (3), Trust In A Gust (1).
Racing.com Champion Middle Distance Racehorse of the Year Award – CONTRIBUTER
Contributer (103), Adelaide (79), Criterion (72), Dissident (37), Fawkner (23), Trust In A Gust (7), Pornichet (6), Kermadec (3), Real Impact (3), He’s Your Man (2), Happy Trails (1).
Champion Stayer of the Year Award – PROTECTIONIST
Protectionist (136), Admire Rakti (63), Delicacy (48), Hartnell (45), Red Cadeaux (17), Mongolian Khan (15), Who Shot Thebarman (8), Grand Marshal (3), Taiyoo (1).
Champion Jumper of the Year Award – BASHBOY
Bashboy (94), Thubiaan (51), Regina Coeli (26), Lord of the Song (6), Vatuvei (5), Arch Fire (4), Urban Explorer (4), Sea King (1), Zuhayr (1).
VOBIS Sires Champion Sire Award – FASTNET ROCK
Champion Group 1 Jockey Award – HUGH BOWMAN
Bart Cummings Award (Champion Group 1 Trainer) – CHRIS WALLER
BAN LIFTED ON JOCKEY WHO THREATENED CHIEF STEWARD & FAMILY
A Supreme Court judge has formally lifted a ban on former leading jockey Danny Nikolic from attending Victorian racetracks.
MARK RUSSELL reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Justice Kevin Bell revoked the ban on Wednesday after Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton agreed to withdraw it.
The judge ordered the Commissioner pay the 2003 Caulfield Cup-winning jockey's legal costs on a standard party-to-party basis after lawyer Jason Murakami said Nikolic had been put to "extraordinary expense" fighting the ban.
Mr Ashton had banned Nikolic last month, claiming he was not a fit and proper person to attend racetracks but the former jockey claimed he had been denied natural justice.
Nikolic, 40, has been banned from riding since September 2012 after threatening chief steward Terry Bailey and his family at the Seymour races.
Racing Victoria recently decided not to re-licence Nikolic, saying one of the reasons for the decision was his racetrack ban.
Nikolic is expected to appeal his riding ban in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Queensland Racing has also banned Nikolic from riding in that state but the jockey has lodged an appeal with the Racing Disciplinary Board.
TWO MORE COBALT POSITIVE SWABS ROCK RACING IN VICTORIA
VICTORIAN Racing has been rocked with two more trainers under investigation for the illegal use of cobalt.
DARRYL TIMMS reports for THE HERALD SUN that Racing Victoria stewards yesterday informed Pakenham trainer John Leek and Moe trainer Len Xuereb that they under are investigation after they both had a runner which recorded an illegal level of cobalt.
The Xuereb-trained Elegantly Wasted returned the elevated level after the mare won the Eastcoast Plumbtec Maiden Plate (1417m) at Sale Racecourse on July 9.
Leek’s horse Spirit Cent returned the positive following the gelding’s win in the Global Barrier Systems BM64 Handicap (1200m) at Racing.com Park, Pakenham, on July 3.
Both horses had post-race urine samples taken their following their wins.
Stewards informed both trainers yesterday that investigations are continuing.
WILL TYPHOON TORPEDO HONKERS JOCKEYS RIDING DURING SPRING?
WILL BOWMAN'S SPRING BE SAVED BY HODGES-LIKE VERDICT?
THERE is no jockey riding better than Hugh Bowman in Australia but he will need a Justin Hodges-like verdict to keep riding in the spring after allegedly using his left elbow on his way to victory with Winx in the Epsom Handicap on Saturday.
CHRIS ROOTS reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that stewards will push the line that Bowman's elbow came up in a fashion outside his usual riding style at around the 500 metres in the Epsom as Blake Shinn on Kirramosa came around and put him in a pocket. It was a surprise to Bowman, who was aware he might have had a careless-riding charge to answer from the incident but seemed to know nothing of the allegation over his elbow use when questioned.
The incident happened so quickly it could have been almost an instinctive action. Bowman had ridden the perfect race on Winx before being caught off-guard by Shinn's lightning move. Kirramosa was there before he could react and the pair got onto Sons Of John's heels within strides as the pressure went on from behind before the leaders sprinted.
Bowman said he was getting rebalanced and was anticipating what would happen in the next couple of strides when Winx checked off Sons Of John's heels. But the video from a camera on the home turn doesn't paint the premier jockey's actions in a good light.
Shinn said he didn't feel the elbow during the race and when pushed about it by stewards after watching the film, he stuck strong to his view. Bowman pointed out how easily Winx won despite the severe check, but that won't count when stewards consider a charge centred on the elbow.
It illustrates how competitive Sydney riding ranks are at the moment.
James McDonald's careless-riding charge on Calliope was another case where a gun jockey on the best horse found himself in an awkward position with no way out other than forcing a run.
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SILKS & SADDLES is a popular weekly column written by respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS that we run courtesy of one of Australia’s leading rural newspapers, the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER. Butts is an old-style racing journalist who shoots from the hip and takes no prisoners. He resents the 'suck-up and survive' mentality of some of the new breed of racing journalists in the print and broadcast media.
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