ROA Awards 2023

Thursday 7 December 2023

Royal Lancaster Hotel
Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY

 

2023 Gallery

 

Winners

CONSTITUTION HILL CROWNED HORSE OF THE YEAR AT 41ST ROA HORSERACING AWARDS

 

Last night, Thursday 7 December, saw the Racehorse Owners Association host its annual Horseracing Awards ceremony to crown the stars who have lit up the sport in 2023.

 

The event at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel saw owners, trainers and key industry figures gather to celebrate the highlights of another memorable year of incredible action on Britain’s racecourses, with the award winners decided by the votes of ROA members.

 

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of The ROA Horse of the Year award, which was won by Michael Buckley’s outstanding unbeaten Champion hurdler Constitution Hill, who in seven races has a cumulative winning margin of 89 lengths. Constitution Hill also won the Tote Outstanding Hurdler Award on the night, following his Outstanding Novice Hurdler Award at last year’s ROA ceremony.

 

This year’s ROA Owner of the Year is the Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. Fresh from the brilliance of Baeed in 2022, Shadwell’s iconic blue and white colours have had another incredible year on the track, led by the likes of Mostahdaf, Hukum and Al Husn for Sheikha Hissa, the head of Shadwell and daughter of its founder Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum.

 

The 16 categories were sponsored by The Large Independent Racecourses, Arena Racing Company, Sports4Causes, The Tote, Fitzdares and Owner Breeder Magazine.

 

Commenting on the Awards, ROA Chief Executive Charlie Liverton said “The ROA Awards continue to hold a special place in the hearts of the participants in British Horseracing and tonight’s event was as exciting as ever. The winners ranged from horses owned by small syndicates to some of the world’s biggest owner breeders and are voted for by the owners themselves. The sport is going through a period of change and challenge at the moment, but the enthusiasm in that room this evening demonstrates that the passion for racing is as strong as ever.”

 

The full list of winners is as follows:

 

Arena Racing Company

Outstanding All-Weather Horse

 

Lord North

HH Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed Racing

Large Independent Racecourses

Outstanding Juvenile

 

City Of Troy

Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith

Large Independent Racecourses

Outstanding Sprinter

 

Shaquille

Hughes, Rawlings, O’Shaughnessy

Large Independent Racecourses

Outstanding Miler

 

Paddington

Tabor, Smith, Magnier, Westerberg, Brant

Large Independent Racecourses

Outstanding Middle Distance Horse

 

Auguste Rodin

M Tabor & D Smith & Mrs J Magnier & Westerberg

Large Independent Racecourses

Outstanding Stayer

 

Trueshan

Singula Partnership

Large Independent Racecourses

Outstanding Filly or Mare

 

Highfield Princess

Trainers House Enterprises Limited

Sports4Causes Flat Special Achievement

 

Quinault

TJE Racing

Tote Outstanding Novice Hurdler

 

Facile Vega

Hammer & Trowel Syndicate

Tote Outstanding Hurdler

 

Constitution Hill

 

Michael Buckley

Fitzdares Outstanding Novice Chaser

 

The Real Whacker

 

Neville, Mann, Duffus and Dennis

Fitzdares Outstanding Chaser

 

Galopin Des Champs

 

Mrs Audrey Turley

Owner Breeder magazine Outstanding National Hunt Mare

 

Honeysuckle

Kenneth Alexander

Sports4Causes National Hunt Special Achievement

 

Corach Rambler

The Ramblers

ROA Owner of the Year

 

 

Shadwell Estate Company Ltd

ROA Horse of the Year

 

Constitution Hill

Michael Buckley

Nominations and voting
Nominations copy.jpg

The 2023 season has been a most memorable one for owners, trainers, jockeys and fans of horseracing, with some awe-inspiring performances over the past 12 months. There have been some big winners, bigger surprises and some thrilling racing under both codes. Details of this year’s nominations are available below:

National Hunt Awards - Nominees: 

Outstanding Novice Hurdler

Facile Vega
Walk In The Park – Quevega
O: Hammer & Trowel Syndicate
T: Willie Mullins
There were lofty expectations for the unbeaten son of Walk In The Park heading into his novice hurdle campaign and two top-level wins were to follow in a successful season. Facile Vega justified favouritism in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle in December, landing the contest in decisive style from stablemate Il Etait Temps. Following a disappointing effort at the Dublin Racing Festival in a contest run at a breakneck early pace, the six-year-old came back to form with a gallant runner-up effort in the Supreme at Cheltenham. He ended his season with an impressive victory in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in April, pulling 7 ½ lengths clear of Il Etait Temps in second.

Gaelic Warrior
Maxios – Game Of Legs
O: Mrs S Ricci
T: Willie Mullins
Only beaten a short-head in the Boodles on his sole outing as a juvenile, Gaelic Warrior built on that promise with a stellar novice campaign. 86 lengths was the margin of victory on his first outing of the season, before carrying 11st12lb to a comfortable success at the Dublin Racing Festival. A brave second in the Ballymore followed in March, with a first Grade 1 success topping off a fine season at Punchestown. Relishing the step up to three miles, he impressively put 10 lengths between himself and Affordable Fury in second.

Impaire Et Passe
Diamond Boy – Burne Ecoosaise
O: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
T: W P Mullins
We were made to wait until December to see Impaire Et Passe make his first appearance for trainer Willie Mullins, but patience was certainly a virtue in this instance as the six-year-old enjoyed an unbeaten campaign. A facile success at Naas put the son of Diamond Boy on course for a decisive win in the Moscow Flyer. He followed up on his first attempt in Grade 1 company, travelling powerfully round the home bend in the Ballymore, kicking clear in punishing style to leave his rivals toiling in his wake up the Cheltenham hill. Another comfortable success was to come in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, topping off a stellar season.

Marine Nationale
French Navy – Power Of Future
O: Barry Connell
T: Barry Connell
Owner-trainer Barry Connell had high hopes for this son of French Navy en route to Prestbury Park and the six-year-old delivered in spades. Marine Nationale landed his first Grade 1 victory on only his second start over hurdles, running on well to lead in the final strides in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. In March, he continued his progress when powering clear up the Cheltenham hill to claim the Supreme Novices Hurdle. Travelling strongly throughout the race, Marine Nationale was delivered perfectly by Michael O’Sullivan to put a commanding 3 ¼ lengths between himself and Facile Vega at the line.

Stay Away Fay
Shantou – Augusta Bay
O: Chris Giles & Dave Staddon
T: Paul Nicholls
After getting off the mark at the first time of asking in his point-to-point, the son of Shantou gave a good account of himself when thrust into Grade 2 company - finishing a close runner-up in the River Don Novices’ Hurdle on just his second start under rules. Subsequently, the six-year-old put in a gutsy display at the Cheltenham Festival, taking the Albert Bartlett crown back to Ditcheat, having been keen throughout.

Outstanding Hurdler

Constitution Hill
Blue Bresil – Queen Of The Stage
O: Michael Buckley
T: Nicky Henderson
The two-mile hurdling division this year was dominated by one horse, as the formidable Constitution Hill carried all before him. Extraordinary is the word Nicky Henderson tends to use when describing the son of Blue Bresil and it’s easy to see why. The unbeaten six-year-old landed four Grade 1 victories and did so by a cumulative 41 lengths. His career-best effort came in the Champion Hurdle, defeating five-time Grade 1 winner State Man by nine lengths. Despite a heart-in-the-mouth moment at the final obstacle, Constitution Hill's victory sparked jubilant scenes when touching down safe, to confirm himself a superstar.

Honeysuckle
Sulamani – First Royal
O: Kenneth Alexander
T: Henry De Bromhead
Honeysuckle ended her spectacular career in the same way it began back in 2018, staying on strongly under Rachael Blackmore in the saddle to win at the Chelteham Festival. Despite losing her unbeaten record in the Hatton’s Grace on her seasonal reappearance, the tenacious mare gave a good account when second behind State Man at the Dublin Racing Festival. Any doubts that Honeysuckle didn’t retain the ability of old were emphatically dispelled on her return to Prestbury Park in March, where she landed the Mares’ Hurdle on her final career start. Disputing the lead heading to the last, she was met with a tremendous roar from the assembled faithful, before staying on strongly to bow out in the most magnificent fashion.

Sire Du Berlais
Poliglote – Royale Athenia
O: JP McManus
T: Gordon Elliott
Sire Du Berlais must be a fan of the adage ‘age is just a number,’ as the 11-year-old landed two top-level successes during a tremendous campaign. Despite failing to fire on his first four appearances this term, the Gordon Elliott-trained gelding bounced back in emphatic style – reeling in Dashel Drasher to land the Stayers’ Hurdle, his third win at the Festival. There was no fluke about his performance at Prestbury Park and he followed up that success with a second success in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree. On the hunt for a hat-trick of consecutive Grade 1 successes, he gave a good account when only beaten ¾ of a length in third at Punchestown.

State Man
Doctor Dino – Arret Station
O: Mrs J Donnelly
T: Willie Mullins
State Man’s only defeat of the year came at the hands of Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. His other performances saw the son of Doctor Dino land four Grade 1 contests from as many outings, making him being given the status of the highest rated hurdler in Ireland. These victories included a commanding front-running display at the Dublin Racing Festival, taking the scalps of Honeysuckle, and Vauban. Whilst he put the last named and Sharjah firmly in their place when taking the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

Outstanding Novice Chaser

El Fabiolo
Spanish Mooon – Sainte Mante
O: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
T: Willie Mullins
After their Aintree novice hurdle confrontation , the highly anticipated rematch of El Fabiolo and Jonbon went the way of the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old who enjoyed an unbeaten campaign. They met in this year’s Arkle on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival where El Fabiolo jumped slickly to record a 5 length win over his rival. En route he recorded a commanding victory at the Dublin Racing Festival and despite making the occasional jumping error, he relentlessly galloped his rivals into submission.

Gerri Colombe
Saddler Maker – Ruse De Guerre
O: Robcour
T: Gordon Elliott
A short head in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase was all that stood between Gerri Colombe and an unbeaten campaign as the seven-year-old continued his ascendancy. After a comfortable success on his chase debut, the Robcour-owned gelding claimed a first Grade 1 victory in the Faugheen Novice Chase before following up at Sandown in the Scilly Isles. Although his late effort was not enough to land the spoils at Prestbury Park, he emphatically put that disappointment behind him at Aintree, travelling strongly and stretching 7 ½ lengths clear of his nearest rival in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

Jonbon
Walk In The Park – Star Faces
O: JP McManus
T: Nicky Henderson
There were always going to be lofty expectations for Douvan’s brother and Jonbon duly delivered in his novice chasing campaign. With three Grade 1 wins, the seven-year-old went from strength to strength over the minimum trip. His first top-level success came in the Henry VII Novices’ Chase, when a spectacular round of jumping helped him put eight lengths between himself and Boothill in second. Despite finding El Fabiolo too strong at Cheltenham, he topped off a stellar campaign with victories in the Maghull at Aintree and in open company in the Celebration Chase at Sandown.

Stage Star
Fame And Glory – Sparky May
O: Owners Group
T: Paul Nicholls
Stage Star produced a powerful front-running display to claim his first top-level victory in the Turners Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. With Harry Cobden setting steady fractions in the early stages on the soft ground, the pair edged clear before the last and were not for catching, putting 3 ¼ lengths between themselves and their closest rival. That was the gelding’s second victory at Presbury Park, having posted a bold showing to carry 12st to success in handicap company in January.  

The Real Whacker
Mahler – Credit Box
O: Neville, Mann, Duffus and Dennis
T: Patrick Neville
Three outings, three visits to Cheltenham, three victories. It has become a familiar sight watching The Real Whacker return to the winners’ enclosure at Prestbury Park and his formula to success has seen him fend off a host of rivals. After holding off a strong challenge from Indigo Breeze on his chase debut, the seven-year-old made all in commanding style to spring a shock in the Paddy Power Novices’ Chase on New Year’s Day. With Sam Twiston-Davies reproducing those front-running tactics in March, The Real Whacker jumped accurately throughout and just held on to claim a first Grade 1 success in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase from the persistent Gerri Colombe.

Outstanding Chaser

Ahoy Senor
Dylan Thomas – Dara Supreme
O: Mrc C Wymer & Pjs Russell
T: Lucinda Russell
Only a few horses have managed to get the heart racing quite like this lovable eight-year-old. We have become accustomed to seeing him set a fierce pace with his exuberant jumping and it was this formula which led to success in the Cotswold Chase, hot on the heels of respectable efforts in the Many Clouds and King George VI Chase, where Ahoy Senor’s stamina came to the fore as he edged clear of Sounds Russian up the Cheltenham hill. For the first time in his career, he found himself on the canvas on the final circuit of the Gold Cup and was caught in the final stages when a gallant runner-up in the Aintree Bowl.

Bravemansgame
Brave Mansonnien – Genifique
O: Bryan Drew
T: Paul Nicholls
Hopes were high for Bravemansgame going into this season and the son of Brave Mansonnien did not disappoint. A comfortable victory in the Charlie Hall Chase set up a mouthwatering clash with L’Homme Presse in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. Stalking his rivals throughout, Bravemansgame jumped with pinpoint accuracy before quickening clear to claim the biggest win of his career. Despite doubts about his stamina heading to Prestbury Park, the eight-year-old once again displayed his slick jumping ability and gallantly chased home Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Energumene
Denham Red – Olinight
O: Tony Bloom
T: Willie Mullins
Energumene cemented himself at the top of the two-mile chasing division this term, with three top-level wins from his four outings. A disappointing effort in the rearranged Clarence House Chase apart, the Tony Bloom-owned gelding enjoyed a tremendous season, starting with a facile victory in the Hilly Way Chase. In March, he relentlessly galloped his rivals into submission in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, stretching 10 lengths clear of Captain Guinness in second. The nine-year-old had to dig deeper at Punchestown to claim a sixth Grade 1 win but he did just that to edge clear of stablemates Chacun Pour Soi and Blue Lord.

Envoi Allen
Muhtathir – Reaction
O: Cheveley Park Stud
T: Henry De Bromhead
Envoi Allen had become a forgotten horse, but this season he made his mark once again, landing two Grade 1 victories from his five outings. The Henry De Bromhead-trained gelding relished the three-mile trip when claiming the Ladbrokes Champion Chase after a lengthy absence, edging clear of Kemboy in the closing stages. Heading to Prestbury Park in March, the step back in distance proved no problem, as he travelled with ease before picking off his rivals to record a third Cheltenham Festival win, this time in the Ryanair Chase.

Galopin Des Champs
Timos – Manon Des Champs
O: Mrs Audrey Turley
T: Willie Mullins
Galopin Des Champs enjoyed a stellar campaign which saw him crowned the highest-rated chaser in Britain and Ireland. The son of Timos claimed the John Durkan on his seasonal reappearance in impressive style - accounting for Fakir D’oudairies by 13 lengths - before relishing the step up to three miles when victorious in the Irish Gold Cup. Twelve months after his  final-fence exit with the Turners Novices’ Chase at this mercy, Galopin Des Champs returned to Prestbury Park and quashed doubts about his stamina in emphatic style, surging seven lengths clear of Bravemansgame in an epic Cheltenham Gold Cup victory.

Shishkin
Sholokov - Labarynth
O: Mrs J Donnelly
T: Nicky Henderson
From dominating the two-mile division until a blip at Cheltenham last year, Shishkin has this term established himself amongst the best staying chasers in. The son of Sholokhov bounced back from a below-par third in the Tingle Creek in emphatic style, taking the Ascot Chase in a flawless performance from Pic D’Orhy. He gave a good account to finish a staying on second in the Ryanair Chase, before relishing the step up in trip in the Aintree Bowl, reeling in Ahoy Senor to notch a sixth Grade 1 win.

Outstanding National Hunt Mare

Echoes in Rain
O: Barnane Stud
T: Willie Mullins
After a two-year wait, Echoes In Rain notched up a second Grade 1 victory in emphatic style at Punchestown. After a Flat campaign which saw the mare hiked to a rating of 103, she began with a commanding 10-length win in the Limestone Lad at Naas. A respectable effort at the Cheltenham Festival followed, before readily dismissing her rivals in the Mares Champion Hurdle in April. 
 
Honeysuckle
O: Kenneth Alexander
T: Henry De Bromhead
Honeysuckle ended her spectacular career in the same way it began back in 2018, staying on strongly under Rachael Blackmore in the saddle to win at the Chelteham Festival. Despite losing her unbeaten record in the Hatton’s Grace on her seasonal reappearance, the tenacious mare gave a good account when second behind State Man at the Dublin Racing Festival. Any doubts that Honeysuckle didn’t retain the ability of old were emphatically dispelled on her return to Prestbury Park in March, where she landed the Mares’ Hurdle on her final career start. Disputing the lead heading to the last, she was met with a tremendous roar from the assembled faithful, before staying on strongly to bow out in the most magnificent fashion.

Impervious
O: John P McManus
T: C A Murphy
Unbeaten in five chase starts, Impervious seemingly thrived on her racing, with each victory proving more impressive than the last. A comfortable success at Wexford in October provided the perfect stepping stone to success in Grade 2 company at Cork - where she impressively dismissed the well-fancied Dinoblue. A step up in trip proved no issue at Punchestown in January, before making the trip to the Cotswolds for a highly anticipated duel with Allegorie De Vassy. Impervious showed all her tenacious qualities to battle back and reign victorious in the Mares’ Chase, before easily dismissing her rivals in a similar race at Punchestown in April.

Lossiemouth
O: Mrs S Ricci
T: Willie Mulins
If not for being short for room in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown, Lossiemouth may have been unbeaten during her campaign. A comfortable win on her stable debut at Fairyhouse threw her straight to the top of the juvenile rankings, where she remained after a commanding victory in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle. Any doubts that she couldn’t reverse the form with stablemate Gala Marceau were  dispelled in the Triumph Hurdle, where the grey led home a 1-2-3-4 for trainer Willie Mullins. A second successive Grade 1 win in the Four Year old hurdle at Punchestown topped off a marvellous juvenile campaign for the mare.

Love Envoi
O: Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates
T: Harry Fry
After getting her season off the mark in handicap company at Sandown, the Harry Fry-trained mare readily accounted for her four rivals when returning to the Surrey venue in January, making the most of the testing conditions. Onto Cheltenham where, in the biggest test of her career, she gallantly followed home Honeysuckle in the Mares’ Hurdle - eventually being headed in the closing stages.

Marie's Rock
O: Middleham Park Racing
T: Nicky Henderson
Any doubts that Marie’s Rock wouldn’t be in tip-top condition for the Relkeel Hurdle were dispelled when the mare brushed past her rivals aside on New Year’s Day. Travelling strongly throughout, Nico De Boinville got an immediate response when urging the her to take the lead and eventually run out a six-length winner. An uncharacteristic below-par effort in the Mares’ Hurdle followed, before gallantly chasing Sire Du Berlais home in the Liverpool Hurdle - her first attempt over the three-mile distance. Despite losing a shoe, Marie’s Rock pulled six lengths clear of Flooring Porter in third and improvement could be on the horizon over this trip.

You Wear It Well
O: Sir Chips Keswick
T: Jamie Snowden
It was a fine first season over hurdles for You Wear It Well, with four wins from her six races, culminating in her Dawn Run Novices’ Hurdle win at the Festival. Breaking the Irish stranglehold on the race, she showed improved form to hold Magical Zoe up the hill by over 2 lengths. She had previously chased home Hermes Allen in desperate conditions in the Challow Hurdle.

National Hunt Special Achievement Award

A Dream To Share
O: JP McManus
T: John E Kiely
It was quite literally A Dream To Share for all those involved with the five-year-old as he enjoyed an unbeaten campaign. Bred and previously owned by ITV and RTE presenter Brian Gleeson, it was up to his son, John, to take the reins on the son of Muhaarar. Success in Grade 2 company at Leopardstown was followed by joyous scenes in the Champion Bumper, as the 18-year-old ended trainer John Kiely’s search for a Cheltenham Festival winner as a youthful 85-year-old. He readily followed up at Punchestown and became the first Irish horse to win five bumpers.

Corach Rambler
O: The Ramblers
T: Lucinda Russell
After a respectable effort when fourth in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury, all roads pointed to Prestbury Park where the nine-year-old was out to defend his Ultima crown. You would have been forgiven for thinking it was a replay of the 2022 renewal, as Derek Fox’s patient tactics paid off once again with Corach Rambler fending off the subsequent Punchestown Gold Cup winner, Fastorslow up the hill. Aintree provided the perfect crescendo to a fine campaign for the Lucinda Russell-trained gelding, as he charged clear, head in the air, to a magnificent victory in the Grand National with an electric round of jumping.
 
Dashel Drasher
O: Mrs B Tully And R Lock
T: Jeremy Scott
Dashel Drasher has been dining at the top table for some time now and the ten-year-old once again proved his versatility with a stellar six-race campaign. After landing the spoils over 2m4f at Aintree over the smaller obstacles on his seasonal reappearance, he posted a gallant effort to follow home Noble Yeats in the Many Clouds over chase fences. The Jeremy Scott-trained gelding then claimed the runner-up spot on his next three outings at Prestbury Park, including a ¾ of a length defeat to Sire Du Berlais in the Stayers’ Hurdle. A below-par performance in the Liverpool Hurdle was the first time this year Dashel Drasher hadn’t been in the first two home.

Delta Work
O: Gigginstown House Stud
T: Gordon Elliott
Having claimed a first Cross Country victory at the Cheltenham Festival in dramatic fashion 12 months prior, beating the legendary Tiger Roll having his final start, Delta Work repeated is victory in 2023. After a stellar effort off top-weight when third at Prestbury Park in January, the ten-year-old was poised to strike on his return to the Festival. Jumping the last with Galvin, it was a similar sight to the previous year as Delta Work toughed it out and edged clear of his Cullentra-based stablemate.

Hewick
O: T J McDonald
T: John Joseph Hanlon
After Hewick’s heroics across the Atlantic in the American Grand National, all roads led to Cheltenham to compete in the Gold Cup. The eight-year-old, who cost only €850, has become somewhat of a cult hero representing trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon. He unfortunately took a crashing fall two out, but this was soon put behind him as he kept on well to readily dismiss his five rivals in the Oaksey Chase at Sandown. A switch back to hurdles was to follow and the gelding gave a good account to finish fourth in the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil.

Kitty’s Light
O: R J Bedford & All Stars Sports Racing
T: Christian Williams
Kitty’s Light shone bright for all to see by performing more heroics in a terrific campaign. After a period of inconsistency, the seven-year-old relished the step up in trip to land the Eider Chase before surging clear in the Scottish Grand National on his next outing. Turning out just seven days after a tough four-mile test at Ayr would appear to be a tall order, but Kitty’s Light proved he is no average horse with another success in the bet365 Gold Cup. In doing so, he became only the second horse after Hot Weld in 2007 to complete the Scottish National and bet365 Gold Cup double.
 
Telhimlisten
O: J Fyffe
T: Stuart Coltherd
At the beginning of March, Telhimlisten was a maiden off a mark of 79. By the end of the month the seven-year-old had improved 28lb. In the intervening period, the son of Fame And Glory notched up four wins in just ten days by a cumulative 54 lengths. Remaining winless after five efforts under rules, the addition of a hood was a revelation for the gelding, with assistant trainer Alan O’Keefe saying, “he takes little out of himself which is why he could win four times in ten days.”

Tonto’s Spirit
O: A Slack
T: Miss A M Slack
Tonto’s Spirit has become part of the furniture at Cartmel. The quaint racecourse has been a happy hunting ground for the 11-year-old. Despite a somewhat inconsistent year, the son of Authorized notched up a ninth win at the venue in August, holding on tenaciously to give Anna Slack her first winner as a trainer. Previously trained by Slack’s late father Ken and her aunt Dianne Sayer, it is a real family affair as he is owned by her grandad Arthur. Despite working for the council full-time, Slack rides the lovable gelding out every day and encapsulates the heart of what racing is about.

Flat Awards - Nominees:

Outstanding All-Weather Horse

Diligent Harry
Due Diligence – Harryana To
O: The Dilinquents
T: Clive Cox
Diligent Harry’s All-Weather record now stands at five wins from nine runs on a synthetic surface, with another successful winter campaign highlighted by his All-Weather Sprint Championship win at Newcastle on Finals Day. He held off late challenges from Witch Hunter, who went on to win the Hackwood Stakes and Annaf, who went on to collect a Portland and a Group 3 at Ascot. Earlier in his All-Weather campaign, he finished just a neck behind Annaf in the Listed Kachy Stakes at Lingfield, and took home a handicap at Newcastle off top weight from King of Bavaria.

Dubai Jeanius
Pride of Dubai – Tempura
O: Mrs H Lloyd-Herrington and P Ringer
T: Michael Herrington
They say “horses for courses” and Dubai Jeanius’ course is most definitely the new tapeta track at Southwell. Since the turn of the year he has made the journey from his Lincolnshire yard to the course seven times and come home victorious on all but one of these visits. Starting with a win off a mark of 56 in a Class 6 race over 1 mile 3 furlongs in January, he rose steadily in ratings and distance, finishing his run by winning a Class 4 handicap over 2 miles in May having gone up 24lb in the process.

Lord North
Dubawi – Najoum
O: HH Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed Racing
T: John and Thady Gosden
Lord North has long plied his trade at the very top table on the turf, and this year he finally got a deserved win in Group company on the All-Weather, taking the Winter Derby from a competitive field at Lingfield in February. The seven-year-old finished second in the race last year, but went one better in 2023 when readily beating the flashy Tyrrhenian Sea and subsequent Magnolia Stakes winner Foxes Tales. He followed that up a month later by winning the Group 1 Dubai turf at Meydan on World Cup night for the second year running.

Notre Belle Bete
Zoffany – Angelic Guest
O: King Power Racing Co Ltd
T: Andrew Balding
A step up in trip in April saw Notre Belle Bete post a career-best on the All-Weather when taking the Easter Classic on Finals Day at Newcastle. Despite being keen in the early stages, the son of Zoffany saw out the extra distance in great style, holding off the challenge of Base Style, with Harrovian and Forest of Dean a long way back. This success came hot on the heels of two placed efforts in handicap company, when second behind Outbreak at Lingfield when encountering a number of traffic problems, and when third at Wolverhampton when attempting to win the Lincoln Trial for the second year in succession.

Sausalito
Frankel  - One Last Dance
O: The Southstand Partnership
T: Gary Moore
Sausalito’s six wins on the All-Weather has seen his handicap mark rise 22lb from his first win at Chelmsford City in February. The application of a visor saw him produce a first career win, and the son of Frankel never looked back, rattling off a five-race winning streak in just 37 days. His haul included two Classified races at Chelmsford, two more at Lingfield and a first handicap win there also. He ran two creditable races in defeat, including when just beaten a short head by Mr Inspiration, before gaining a further win at his local track at the end of April off a rating of 70.

Walking On Clouds
Gale Force Ten – Aglaia
O: Moment of Madness
T: Grant Tuer
The ARC Winter Bonus Scheme provided owners with huge incentives throughout the winter, with points awarded for wins and placed efforts. In its inaugural year, Walking On Clouds took top Horse of the Year honours, accumulating 48 points over the season, with his five wins, four seconds and two thirds being enough to capture the £100,000 winning pot by just three points from Man On A Mission. Proving a Southwell specialist, he captured all but one of his wins there, taking the sprinter from 60 to 83 in the ratings.  

Zealot
Pivotal – Devotion
O: The Horse Watchers
T: Michael Appleby
Another shrewd purchase by The Horsewatchers from the Horses In Training Sales, Zealot racked up seven wins and two placed efforts over the winter. The winning spree began after the application of cheekpieces at Kempton in December 2022, which saw Zealot win comfortably win off a handicap mark of 59. He kept improving through three wins at Southwell and two at Newcastle before capping off his season with a fine win at Chelmsford City in March off a mark of 96, 37lb higher than when his winning run commenced.

Outstanding Juvenile

Ancient Wisdom
Dubawi – Golden Valentine
O: Godolphin
T: Charlie Appleby
A third behind Rosallion in what turned out to be one of the hottest conditions races in many a year was the only blemish in an otherwise flawless campaign for Ancient Wisdom. His defeat was bookended by two victories in Novice company at Haydock and Newmarket, and two Group wins at the end of the season. He impressively maintained his stable’s good record in the Autumn Stakes on the Rowley Mile, relishing the soft ground to comfortably beat Chief Little Rock. Turned out just two weeks later for the Futurity, he made most of the running, finding again in the final three furlongs when headed to run out a brave winner from Devil’s Point.

Big Evs
Blue Point – Hana Lina
O: RP Racing Ltd
T: Michael Appleby
It is unusual for a horse to break its maiden at Royal Ascot, as Big Evs did when winning the Windsor Castle Stakes, let alone to do so by an impressive 3 lengths.  He proved no flash in the pan though, taking the Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on his next start.  Unplaced in the Nunthorpe after a brave roll of the dice by connections, he bounced right back to form in the Flying Childers.  Breaking smartly, Big Evs never looked likely to be caught and cleared away by 2¾ lengths. He then went on to score a fantastic success at Santa Anita, using his customary early speed to blow away his rivals in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, staying on strongly at the line to beat Valiant Force.

City Of Troy
Justify – Together Forever
O: Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
T: A P O’Brien
Impeccably bred horses from Ballydoyle always garner interest, especially when they win nicely on their debut and take a good while to pull up too as this Justify colt did.  Sent off odds-on for his next start, the Group 2 Superlative Stakes, City Of Troy looked in a different league to the opposition and won unchallenged.  The ground at Newmarket for his next start in the Dewhurst Stakes was soft and connections expressed concern in the lead-up to the race.  They need not have worried though, as he sauntered to  an easy 3½  length win, with part owner Michael Tabor suggesting after the race  that he was the best juvenile the Coolmore team had ever had.

Rosallion
Blue Point – Rosaline
O: Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum
T: Richard Hannon
Setting a course record on debut at Newbury is bound to turn heads.  Rosallion proved that was no flash in the pan by following up in the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes, scooting clear by an impressive 4 lengths in what proved to be an outstanding renewal, with the first six home all going onto at least Listed success.  In Rosallion’s case this was the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Arc weekend.  He overcame both an unfavourable draw and racing a little keenly,  picking up smartly once in the clear to draw away nicely from Unquestionable and Beauvatier.

Vandeek
Havana Grey – Mosa Mine
O: KHK Racing Ltd
T: Simon & Ed Crisford
This son of Havana Grey broke his maiden at the first attempt, despite a tardy start.   He was again a little slowly away next time out, when stepped up in grade for the Group 2 Richmond Stakes, yet still won comfortably.  A trip to France for the Group 1 Prix Morny followed and Vandeek impressed many good judges  when running down Ramatuelle late after meeting trouble in running.  His final run of the season was in Newmarket’s Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, on much faster ground than he had previously encountered, but he  cleared away to win impressively from Task Force, giving connections much to dream about over the winter.

Ylang Ylang
Frankel – Shambolic
O: Magnier,Tabor,Smith,Brant,Westerberg
T: A P O’Brien
Expensive and impeccably bred, Ylang Ylang won easily on her debut after making all and then followed up in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown.  The bubble burst on her next two starts though, when finishing last in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and third in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes.  Connections retained faith in the Frankel filly though and she repaid them in spades when staying on strongly upped in trip in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile to score from Shuwari and See The Fire.

Outstanding Sprinter

Art Power
Dark Angel – Evening Time
O: King PowerRacing Co Ltd
T: Tim Easterby
Patience is a virtue and so it proved for Art Power’s connections, who, after 14 previous attempts, finally broke through at Group 1 level this year.  Admirably consistent, the handsome grey  won a brace of Group 2s  in his beloved Ireland earlier this year, namely the Greenlands Stakes and Sapphire Stakes. The wet conditions on British Champions Day played to strengths in the Sprint, with Art Power travelling well in front. Nevertheless, he looked set for second when Kinross loomed up inside the final furlong, but the game grey rallied superbly to get back up to score by a neck.

Bradsell
Tasleet – Russian Punch
O: Victorious Racing
T: Archie Watson
The winner of the Coventry Stakes at two, Bradsell returned to Royal Ascot this year and dropped in trip to contest the five furlong King’s Stand Stakes.  Always prominent, Bradsell drifted left in the closing stages, but was always holding Highfield Princess to score by a length.  After a break, it was off to York for the Nunthorpe Stakes and another potential battle with Highfield Princess, but the pair found Live In The Dream too good on the day.

Highfield Princess
Night Of Thunder – Pure Illusion
O: Trainers House Enterprises Ltd
T: John Quinn
It was fantastic news when Highfield Princess, the outstanding sprinter of 2022, returned to training in 2023.  An audacious bid by connections at Royal Ascot saw her tackle the 5 furlong King’s Stand Stakes on the Tuesday (finishing second to Bradsell) and then the 6 furlong Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on the Saturday (finishing third behind Khaadem and Sacred).  Highfield Princess was back to winning ways in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, before her bid for back-to-back Nunthorpe wins was only thwarted by Live In The Dream. She ended her European season in fine style when taking the Abbaye at Longchamp, the fourth Group 1 of her career.

Khaadem
Dark Angel – White Daffodil
O: Mrs Fitri Hay
T: Charles Hills
Age is but a number in the sprinting game, as seven-year-old Khaadem proved at Royal Ascot this year.  Three disappointing runs over in Meydan started his season, but Khaadem looked much happier back on home soil when finishing third in the Listed Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury as his warm-up for Royal Ascot.  Bouncing off the fast ground and relishing a typical Jamie Spencer hold-up ride, he came home strongly to break his Group 1 duck in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, holding Sacred by a neck. 

Kinross
Kingman – Ceilidh House
O: Marc Chan
T: Ralph Beckett
Whether it be at six or seven furlongs, Kinross has developed into a high class performer at the top level, as he proved again this year with victories in the Lennox and City of York Stakes over the longer trip. But it was over six furlongs he put up his best performances – albeit in defeat – when third to Shaquille in the July Cup, and when just touched off by Art Power in the British Champions Sprint in October, coming fast and late on what proved to be a front-runner’s track.

Live In The Dream
Prince Of Lir – Approaching Autumn
O: Steve & Jolene De’Lemos
T: Adam West
Live In The Dream became one of the stories of the season, rising from handicapper to bone fide Group 1 performer in just a few months for his Epsom yard.  Starting his season with a bang, Live In the Dream showed his customary front-running style to win back-to-back handicaps at Lingfield and Pontefract. A second in the Palace House Stakes and a third in the Temple Stakes cemented his rise to pattern-race performer.  A quick foray to France for a Listed-race fourth preceded his first Group 1 run in the Nunthorpe Stakes.  Breaking fast as usual, Live In The Dream showed serious pace and was never headed, much to the delight of connections.

Regional
Territories – Favulusa
O: Future Champions Racing Regional
T: Edward Bethell
Regional had previously looked a useful sprinter, but he was to prove better than ever in his fourth year of racing.  Winning on his seasonal debut in a Class 2 handicap he took the step up to Listed competition in his stride next time when proving all speed in the Achilles Stakes.  A decent first run in Group company in the Nunthorpe Stakes stood him in good stead when stepped back up to six furlongs next time in the Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes.  There, he disputed the lead throughout to provide his jockey and stable with their first Group 1 victory, scoring by a neck from Shouldvebeenaring.

Shaquille
Charm Spirit - Magic
O: Hughes, Rawlings, O’Shaughnessy
T: Julie Camacho
A promising two-year-old, Shaquille looked every inch a group horse in the making when taking a Newmarket handicap on his seasonal return.  This was proved in impressive fashion at Royal Ascot in the Commonwealth Cup, thundering clear in the final 110 yards to beat the red hot favourite Little Big Bear despite losing many lengths at the start.  A step up to all-age competition next time proved no hindrance either, when another slow start preceded a 1½ length victory in the July Cup, his sixth consecutive win, and earning an official rating of 120, almost 40 pounds higher than when his winning run began. 

Outstanding Miler

Big Rock
Rock Of Gibraltar – Hardiyna
O: Yeguada Centurion SL
T: Christopher Head
Big Rock started his season very early in January when running fifth in a maiden for his previous trainer Mathieu Brasme.  Switched to Christopher Head, his winning streak began, winning four in a row (a handicap, a Listed race and two Group 3s) before trying his hand at the top level, finishing second in three stellar Group 1s: the Prix du Jockey Club behind Ace Impact, the Jacques Le Marois behind Inspiral and the Prix du Moulin behind Sauterne. Brought over for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, he turned in one of the performances of the season, making all on his preferred soft ground  to score by 6 lengths, beating a host of Group 1 performers in behind.

Chaldean
Frankel – Suelita
O: Juddmonte
T: Andrew Balding
Great things were expected from Dewhurst-winning Chaldean, but his season got off to an inauspicious start when he unseated Frankie Dettori at the start of his classic trial.  Thankfully no such drama happened in the 2000 Guineas itself, where he travelled well and kept on strongly to score by 1¾ lengths from Hi Royal and old foe Royal Scotsman.  Made favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes, Chaldean ran right up to form, but that wasn’t enough to cope with easy winner Paddington.  His season rather fizzled out thereafter, but he retires to stud as a Classic winner.

Inspiral
Frankel – Starscope
O: Cheveley Park Stud
T: John & Thady Gosden
A Group 1 winner in each of the previous two seasons, it was a sporting decision by owners Cheveley Park to keep her racing at four, but it proved a wise one.  Making her seasonal return in the Queen Anne Stakes, Inspiral ran well to be beaten only a neck by surprise winner Triple Time.  Soft ground was not to her liking in the Sussex Stakes, but it was all systems go again in the Jacques Le Marois, which Inspiral won for the second year in a row.  She then provided Frankie with his 500th Newmarket win when taking the Sun Chariot Stakes in exemplary fashion by 3¾ lengths. She finished off this year's campaign with a fine victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita. The extra two furlongs of the race were no barrier to her and she swept through late to pip Warm Heart on the line.

Mawj
Exceed And Excel – Modern Ideals
O: Godolphin
T: Saeed bin Suroor
After a promising Juvenile campaign, Mawj was amongst those Godolphin runners primed to run at Meydan for the Dubai Carnival – and her winter in the sun garnered two victories, overcoming soft ground in the Jumeriah Fillies Classic, and the step up in trip to a mile in the Jumeriah Fillies Guineas. She returned to the UK for the Newmarket equivalent and showed a very willing attitude, coming out on top on the line in a titanic duel with Tahiyra. Mawj was not seen again until the Autumn, when  she racked up a few more air miles, making the trip to Keeneland to take the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in fine style. Returning to America, she was just touched off by owner-companion Master Of The Seas in the Breeders' Cup Mile in the last strides. 

Paddington
Siyouni – Modern Eagle
O: Tabor,Smith,Magnier,Westerberg,Brant
T: A P O’Brien
Paddington earned his “Iron Horse”  moniker in a busy campaign. Starting his year by winning a handicap and a Listed race, he was upped to Group 1 company in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and landed the Classic tidily from Cairo to tee up a match against the British Guineas winner Chaldean in the St James’s Palace. Landing the spoils comfortably, he was then upped in distance in the Eclipse, where he was always holding Emily Upjohn up the Sandown hill. The winning streak continued in to the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, clearing away in the wet conditions. He lost little in defeat  in the International Stakes at York, only beaten 1 ½ lengths by Mostahdaf, before the very soft conditions at Ascot were not to his liking in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Outstanding Middle Distance Horse

Auguste Rodin
Deep Impact – Rhododendron
O: M Tabor & D Smith & Mrs J Magnier & Westerberg
T: A P O’Brien
Auguste Rodin’s win in the Futurity Stakes had him priced up as winter Guineas and Derby favourite.  However, that bubble burst when he finished down the field in the 2,000 Guineas.  Despite being on a retrieval mission when lining up for the Derby, his trainer retained complete confidence in the horse and Auguste Rodin swepti through two furlongs out to overhaul King of Steel by half a length. He followed up in the Irish equivalent – having to be ridden out to beat stablemate Adelaide River – but then was a bitterly disappointing last in the King George. But once again the Ballydoyle team managed to get the son of Deep Impact back in top form, running out a ready winner from Luxembourg in the Irish Champion Stakes. Under an inspired ride by Ryan Moore at Santa Anita, the son of Deep Impact rounded off his season seeing off the best in the world in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Hukum
Sea the Stars – Aghareed
O: Shadwell Estate Company
T: Owen Burrows
Hukum stepped out of his brother Baaeed’s shadow this season with two stellar performances in the summer. Coming back from serious injury he took Desert Crown’s unbeaten record in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown, the pair pulling clear over what was thought to be an inadequate trip for the son of Sea The Stars. Onto the midsummer highlight of the King George and the race did not disappoint, with Hukum and Westover fighting out one of the finishes of the season up the Ascot straight, Hukum prevailing by just a head. The drying ground and a wide draw contributed to a slightly disappointing final run in the Arc.

King Of Steel
Wootton Basset – Eldacar
O: Amo Racing Limited
T: Roger Varian
In the rapturous scenes immediately following Frankie Dettori’s victory in the  Champion Stakes at Ascot on British Champions Day,  King Of Steel could almost have been forgotten, but he has horse that will always hold a special place in his charismatic jockey’s heart.  The gigantic son of Wootton Bassett was held up off the pace, which had seemed not the place to be on the day, but he came fast and late to peg back Via Sistina at the line. It was King of Steel’s second win at the Berkshire track, after his impressive King Edward VII Stakes victory over St Leger winner Continuous the Royal meeting He also ran very well in defeat, just getting caught by Auguste Rodin in the Derby and when placed third in a top-notch renewal of the King George.

Mostahdaf
Frankel – Handassa
O: Shadwell Estate
T: John and Thady Gosden
Mostahdaf began a very successful season back in February taking the Turf Cup in Saudi Arabia, and then was seen in Dubai a month later, finding the extraordinary performance of Equinox a bit too hot to handle in the Sheema Classic, but with Equinox now looking like the best horse in the world, that run looks even better in hindsdight. Back on these shores, the son of Frankel caused a bit of a shock in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, beating Adayar, Luxembourg and Bay Bridge. With connections thinking he was best after a break, he was not seen until the International at York. Under an inspired ride by Frankie Dettori, he made all the running and had Paddington and Nashwa in trouble from the turn to run out an impressive winner.

Paddington
Siyouni – Modern Eagle
O: Tabor,Smith,Magnier,Westerberg,Brant
T: A P O’Brien
Paddington earned his “Iron Horse”  moniker in a busy campaign. Starting his year by winning a handicap and a Listed race, he was upped to Group 1 company in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and landed the Classic tidily from Cairo to tee up a match against the British Guineas winner Chaldean in the St James’s Palace. Landing the spoils comfortably, he was then upped in distance in the Eclipse, where he was always holding Emily Upjohn up the Sandown hill. The winning streak continued in to the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, clearing away in the wet conditions. He lost little in defeat  in the International Stakes at York, only beaten 1 ½ lengths by Mostahdaf, before the very soft conditions at Ascot were not to his liking in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Outstanding Stayer

Coltrane
Mastercraftsman – Promise Me
O : Mick and Janice Mariscotti
T : Andrew Balding
Coltrane’s season couldn’t have got off to a better start, impressively landing the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in May, when galloping clear from his rivals, including Trueshan. He continued his affinity with Ascot, coming a brave second to Courage Mon Ami in the Gold Cup at the Royal meeting when always up with the pace, just being run out of it at the line. He reversed positions with his Ascot conqueror in the Lonsdale Cup at York in August, having bounced back from his third place behind the front-running Quickthorn in the Goodwood Cup earlier in the month. 

Continuous
Heart’s Cry – Fluff
O: D Smith, Mrs J Magnier, M Tabor, Westerberg
T: A P O’Brien
Continuous marked himself out as one of the top staying three-year-olds of the year with a resounding success in the St Leger. He had already won the Great Voltigeur impressively at York from Castle Way and Gregory on ground that may have been on the fast side for him. But at Turf Moor on a slower surface, he found a lovely spot against the rail and settled the contest quickly, powering clear of Arrest and Desert Hero. This performance warranted a supplementary entry for the Arc, and he again acquitted himself well, running on into fifth on ground that would not have been ideal.

Courage Mon Ami
Frankel – Crimson Ribbon
O: Wathnan Racing (A E Oppenheimer until June 2023)
T: John and Thady Gosden
Two Novice wins on the Polytrack at the backend of 2022 flagged Courage Mon Ami as a useful staying prospect for the season. He began his season in handicap company at Goodwood, picking up nicely and earning a big jump in class to the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. He took this in his stride, coming late and wide to overhaul Coltrane and provide his new owners with a first winner at the top level. A disappointing run in the Goodwood Cup behind the front-running Quickthorn saw him lose his unbeaten record, but he was back to form in the Londsale Cup at York, just finding Coltrane too good.

Eldar Eldarov
Dubawi – All At Sea
O: KHK Racing
T: Roger Varian
Named after his owner’s favourite world champion Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Eldar Eldarov did not need to show his name sake’s battling qualities when comfortably landing the Irish St Leger, strolling past Kyprios – who was having his first run for nearly a year – to gain his first win since taking the St Leger the previous season. He seems very well suited by 1 mile 6 furlongs, as he also put up a good performance when runner-up over this trip to Giavellotto in the Yorkshire Cup on his seasonal debut. A fourth in the Goodwood Cup made amends for a disappointing effort when not staying the marathon distance of the Gold Cup at Ascot.

Quickthorn
Nathaniel – Daffydowndilly
O: Lady Blyth
T: Hughie Morrison
Quickthorn put up an extraordinary performance when taking his first Group 1 victory in the Goodwood Cup at the Glorious meeting this year. Reminiscent of his Londsale Cup romp the previous season, Quickthorn quickly established a huge lead, with jockey Tom Marquand getting the fractions spot on. The strong galloping son of Nathaniel was not for catching, running out a six-length unchallenged winner, with Courage Mon Ami, Coltrane and Eldar Eldarov all in behind. This victory came hot on the heels of a comfortable Listed success at York, over subsequent Princess of Wales winner Israr.

Trawlerman
Golden Horn – Tidespring
O: Godolphin
T: John and Thady Gosden
Last season’s Ebor winner had attempted to make the leap to pattern company when taking in Group races in Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the Spring, finishing down the field both times. However, after a break he notched up a hattrick of wins in Britain; a conditions race at Salisbury and a Listed contest at Newmarket by a combined distance of 31 lengths, followed by  a thrilling triumph in the British Champions Long Distance Cup. Always up with the pace, Kyprios swept by him just after the turn into the home straight, but Frankie Dettori kept his cool and Trawlerman rallied to get up by half a length at the line.  

Trueshan
Planteur – Shao Line
O: Singula Partnership
T: Alan King
He may be seven years of age now, but Trueshan can still hold his place alongside the best stayers around, as he proved with a brace of barnstorming victories in early Autumn. Off since a breathing operation after his disappointing performance in the Sagaro, Trueshan reappeared in the Doncaster Cup and looked to be too fresh when pulling himself into the lead a long way from home, but he stayed on strongly up the straight to hold Sweet William. He followed up at Longchamp in the Prix du Cadran, this time being handed an uncontested lead on ground which could have been considered too fast for him. Dominating the race, he gradually drew clear to score by 4 lengths from Moon Wolf.

Outstanding Filly or Mare

Blue Rose Cen
Churchill – Queen Blossom
O: Yeguada Centurion SL
T: Christopher Head
Owner Leopoldo Fernández Pujal’s inspirational book is called “Shoot for the Stars and you might land on the Moon: Turn your dreams into Reality” and his filly embodied this philosophy, winning three Group 1 races in a busy campaign. She took the two French Classics for fillies in impressive fashion, and then headed for Goodwood for the Nassau. Here, things did not go to plan when gaps failed to materialise and she finished fourth behind Al Husn and Nashwa. She found the trip too far in the Prix Vermeille, but back to her favoured 10 furlongs, she was driven out to capture the Prix de l’Opera on Arc day from Jackie Oh by a head.

Highfield Princess
Night Of Thunder – Pure Illusion
O: Trainers House Enterprises Ltd
T: John Quinn
It was fantastic news when the ROA Awards Outstanding Sprinter of 2022 was confirmed  to be kept in training for another year.  An brave decision by connections at Royal Ascot saw her tackle the 5 furlong King’s Stand Stakes on the Tuesday (finishing second to Bradsell) and then the 6 furlong Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on the Saturday (finishing third behind Khaadem and Sacred).  Highfield Princess was back to winning ways in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, before her bid for back-to-back Nunthorpe wins was only thwarted by Live In The Dream. She ended her European season in fine style when taking the Abbaye at Longchamp, the fourth Group 1 of her career.

Inspiral
Frankel – Starscope
O: Cheveley Park Stud
T: John & Thady Gosden
A Group 1 winner in each of the previous two seasons, it was a sporting decision by owners Cheveley Park to keep her racing at four, but it proved a wise one.  Making her seasonal return in the Queen Anne Stakes, Inspiral ran well to be beaten only a neck by surprise winner Triple Time.  Soft ground was not to her liking in the Sussex Stakes, but it was all systems go again in the Jacques Le Marois, which Inspiral won for the second year in a row.  She then provided Frankie with his 500th Newmarket win when taking the Sun Chariot Stakes in exemplary fashion by 3¾ lengths. She finished off this year's campaign with a fine victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita. The extra two furlongs of the race were no barrier to her and she swept through late to pip Warm Heart on the line.

Mawj
Exceed And Excel – Modern Ideals
O: Godolphin
T: Saeed bin Suroor
After a promising Juvenile campaign, Mawj was amongst those Godolphin runners primed to run at Meydan for the Dubai Carnival – and her winter in the sun garnered two victories, overcoming soft ground in the Jumeriah Fillies Classic, and the step up in trip to a mile in the Jumeriah Fillies Guineas. She returned to the UK for the Newmarket equivalent and showed a very willing attitude, coming out on top on the line in a titanic duel with Tahiyra. Mawj was not seen again until the Autumn, when  she racked up a few more air miles, making the trip to Keeneland to take the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in fine style. Returning to America, she was just touched off by owner-companion Master Of The Seas in the Breeders' Cup Mile in the last strides. 

Nashwa
Frankel – Princess Loulou
O: Imad Alsagar
T: John and Thady Gosden
After a stellar three-year-old campaign, Nashwa embarked on a busy season this year, which may have only gained one victory, but saw the daughter of Frankel run some great races in defeat. Her win came in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting. A rare foray at a mile, she took the drop in trip comfortably in her stride to account for Remarquee and Via Sistina. Back up to 10 furlongs, she was third in a messy Nassau Stakes behind Al Husn, but arguably her best run of the season came when chasing home Mostahdaf in the International at York, just getting the better of Paddington at the line.

Soul Sister
Frankel  - Dream Peace
O: Lady Bamford
T: John and Thady Gosden
Seven furlongs on very soft ground was never going to be Soul Sister’s forte, so she put her below-par effort in the Fred Darling Stakes well behind her when landing the Musidora over 10 furlongs impressively from Novakai, to set her up for a crack at the Oaks three weeks later. The daughter of Frankel came sweeping wide at Epsom to keep on well from Savethelastdance and provide Frankie Dettori with a seventh win in the race.

Tahiyra
Siyouni – Tarana
O: HH Aga Khan
T: Dermot Weld
An impressive Moyglare winner at two, and a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Tarnawa, hopes were high for Tahiya in the run up the 1,000 Guineas. She put up a valiant effort in defeat, only finding Mawj too good. She made amends in the Irish equivalent and followed up in spectacular style at Royal Ascot powering down the outside of the pack to hold the fast-finishing Remarquee in the Coronation Stakes. A mid-summer break saw her reappear in the Matron Stakes, where she claimed her third Group 1 in a row, before running a game race at Ascot in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, hating the ground but sticking on tenaciously behind Big Rock.

Warm Heart
Galileo – Sea Siren
O: Mrs John Magnier / Michael Tabor / Derrick Smith / Westerberg
T: A P O'Brien
She shed her maiden tag at the third time of asking, but Warm Heart did nothing but improve during the course of the season, culminating in two victories at Group 1 level. A Listed race win at Newbury was followed up by a success in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. Disappointment in the Irish Oaks was soon forgotten when she reversed form with a number of her rivals, taking the Yorkshire Oaks in impressive fashion. In the Prix Vermeille she overcame a stumble at the start to record a comfortable success over a field including Blue Rose Cen and Above The Curve.

Flat Special Achievement Award

Commanche Falls
Lethal Force – Joyeaux
O: Doug Graham, Ian Davison, Alan Drysdale
T: Michael Dods
There were thoroughly deserved first wins at Group 3 and Listed level this season for Commanche Falls, with the Listed successes coming at the Curragh and York, and a Group 3 win in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury. Having established himself as a top-notch handicapper last year with his second successive win in the Stewards Cup, his progression up the ladder continued, with this season also seeing placed efforts in the Abernant Stakes, Clipper Stakes and a fine fourth in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes behind subsequent Group 1 winner Moss Tucker.

Copper Knight
Sir Pracealot – Mystic Dream
O: Ventura Racing (Copper) and Partner
It was another winning season for the evergreen Copper Knight who once again managed two victories during the season. An ever-present in York’s five-furlong sprint races, he became the track’s “winning-most” horse with his seventh victory in July, relishing the track and some rain-softened ground. He followed up just a week later, this time at Pontefract, bravely keeping on from Elegant Erin. Unfortunately, Copper Knight couldn’t win the race named in his honour in October, but still ran respectably in sixth.

Dragon Leader
El Kabeir – Sweet Dragon Fly
O: Kennet Valley Syndicates III
T : Clive Cox
A £45,000 purchase as a yearling, Dragon Leader made hay in three sales races this season. Owned by Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, whose founder Nick Robinson passed away this year and had set up the syndicate with Sales races in mind, Dragon Leader showed what an inspired concept this was, collecting over £300,000 in prize money. He took both the Goffs Premier Yearling race at the York Ebor meeting, and the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar, both victories bookending a gallant second in the Weatherbys Sales race at Doncaster in September.

Eastern Charm
Kodiac – Chastushka
O: Ian and Christine Beard and Family (Somerville Lodge Limited until May)
T: William Haggas
With an initial handicap rating of 57, Eastern Charm had a very successful summer, notching up six wins – two at Yarmouth, two at Ripon, and one each at Chelmsford and Sandown - to creep up to a mark of 76 by the Autumn. She proved very adaptable,  winning on going ranging from Good to Firm to Heavy, and also very tough, especially in her win at Sandown, bravely squeezing a path between her rivals to run out a ready winner.

Quinault
Oasis Dream – Queimada
O: TJE Racing
T: Stuart Williams
Quinault proved an inspired purchase at the sales by Thomas Morley. After two runs on the All-weather in February, he started his winning spree in April, winning a Chelmsford handicap off a mark of 59. Steady progression, through handicaps at Brighton, two on the Rowley Mile and a valuable three-year-old sprint at York in June, saw him line-up in a Heritage Handicap at Newmarket’s July Meeting, and again he just held on in a tight finish from Mill Stream. A rare defeat came in the Shergar Cup, but he was back to winning ways at Ascot in September, when reunited with Luke Catton he made all to win his seventh handicap of the year, weighted a remarkable 38lb higher than at the beginning of his run.

Rhoscolyn
Territories – Zeyran
O: The Horse Watchers
T: David O’Meara
It was another busy but successful season for Rhoscolyn, who always appears in the big seven furlong / mile handicaps and always acquits himself well. None more so when these races are at Goodwood, a track at which the son of Territories always performs well.  Indeed, his three wins this year came on the South Downs, with a win in the World Pool Handicap at Glorious Goodwood, and two other victories on rain softened ground in August and September. He also ran up to his best at Ascot in October, only beaten 2 lengths in the Challenge Cup.

Ropey Guest
Cable Bay – Hadeeya
O: John Guest racing
T: George Margarson
“Chubby” has developed quite a following both through social media and by his gutsy displays over the last few years. Better known at Ropey Guest, he found the winners’ enclosure for the first time since September 2021 at Goodwood in May, and this seemed to set him up for a fruitful summer. He was an unlucky second behind Biggles in the Bunbury Cup, but a rare foray to York provided a fine win when finally getting his head in front for a big pot - taking the Clipper Handicap by a head from Point Lynas. He rounded off a fine season only finding The Gatekeeper too good in the Balmoral Handicap on British Champions Day.

Sparks Fly
Muhaarar – Stepping Out
O: David Lowe
T: David Loughnane
Sparks Fly may have only got off the mark at the sixth time of asking, in a Windsor handicap in April, but from then on David Lowe’s three-year-old filly couldn’t stop winning, racking up an impressive six straight wins. She developed an affinity for Windsor, with the riverside track providing half of her wins. After victories at Thirsk and Chester she lined up at Ayr at the beginning of July 33lb higher than when her spree started. Making light of that, she ran out a worthy winner. Connections then tried for some black type, but back to handicaps and off a break, the tough filly gained her seventh win of the season at Haydock off a career-high mark of 98. She topped off a fantastic season taking Listed glory in tremendous style with a 12 length win in heavy ground at Saint-Cloud.

Main Awards - Nominees: 

Owner of the Year

Horse of the Year

Voting opens on Wednesday 1 November and closes on Friday 17 November.

Voting is open to ROA Members and Racegoers Club members only. You will be asked to verify your details during the voting process.

VOTE HERE

 

 

Charity Partner

Racing Welfare

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We are delighted to partner with Racing Welfare - the registered charity supporting the workforce of British horseracing.  They offer professional guidance and practical help to the stud, stable and racecourse staff whose dedication is vital for the well-being of racing. 

www.racingwelfare.co.uk 

DONATE HERE

 

Racing Welfare News

05 February 2024

Racing Welfare and ROA partnership reaps rewards

Following a second year of working together as official partners, the ROA and Racing Welfare continue to develop an their relationship ...read more

02 January 2024

Over £30,000 raised for Racing Welfare in 2023

Another strong year for the ROA and Racing Welfare partnership

01 December 2023

Bid to Give - Enjoy the West London Derby in style

Available exclusively to ROA members we have a package for four in a private box at Stamford Bridge for the Chelsea vs Fulham match on Saturday 13 January 2024, to include hospitality and drinks.

10 November 2023

Bid to Give for Racing Welfare - treat the family this Christmas!

Royal Mews tour followed by Disney On Ice, with hotel included

07 September 2023

ROA Bid to Give auction – luxury bespoke his and hers experience in London 

The latest exclusive item for ROA members to bid on to raise funds for Racing Welfare


 

Sponsors
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About ARC

Arena Racing Company was created in 2012, and has been a racing industry pioneer, developing  new race series such as the All Weather Championships and the all-ladies Silk Series. Their racing business has grown with the acquisition of racecourses and greyhound stadia and their media business is flourishing through the control of media rights and our partnerships with The Racing Partnership, At The Races and Sky Sports Racing.


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About The Large Independent Racecourse Group

The Large Independent Racecourse Group is an informal grouping of the six large racecourses which are independently owned. They appoint a Director to the Racecourses Association Board and who sits as an observer on the BHA Members Committee.

Our courses are responsible for the major summer flat festivals; The Boodles May Festival at Chester, The Dante and Ebor Festival at York, Glorious Goodwood, Royal Ascot, King George the VI and Champions Day at Ascot, The Western and Scottish National Meeting at Ayr and finally the Lockinge and Ladbrookes Jumping Festival at Newbury. They are major contributors to Prizemoney with their combined and executive contributions being £39,228,148 in total prizemoney. All courses provide complimentary lunches for Owners and Trainers.

Being such significant contributors to British Racing their views are commonly sought by all parties of the industry and command considerable influence.

All racecourses have significant non-race day activities and business ventures including restaurants, hotels, childcare facilities etc. Due to their huge investment in buildings and facilities they are able to develop their non-racing business as well as their core racing business from their developments. The LIRG Members have the ability to make quick commercial decisions due to their independent status and contribute significantly to the development of the sport.


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About UK Tote Group

 The UK Tote Group is the proud owner and steward of the Tote, the UK’s leading pool betting operator. The Tote has been a core part of British horseracing since 1928 when it was established by Parliament under Winston Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer, to provide the public with a safe way to bet and vital funding for the sport.

 The UK Tote Group is committed to fulfilling the Tote’s founding mission through revitalising the 95-year old British company to ensure it provides better value and an improved experience to customers, as well as increased funding for British horseracing. The UK Tote Group is backed by racehorse owners and breeders from around the world who believe a stronger UK and Irish host pool is an essential component in the successful future of the sport, as is the case in other successful racing jurisdictions.

The Tote is the pool partner to all 85 British and Irish racecourses, and the UK Tote Group is proud to be able to work with them and all of its media rights and bookmaker partners to bring innovations and improvements to all of its customer channels, including those within its digital business, through the Tote website (tote.co.uk/tote.ie) and the Tote App.

The UK Tote Group is a founding member of the World Tote Association and will co-chair the organisation between 2022-24. The UK Tote Group is committed to working with international partners to grow pool betting in a sustainable manner, while showcasing the benefits of the sector to stakeholders, including customers, regulators, national governments, the racing industry and society as a whole.

The Tote employs 170+ people who are based in the Tote’s main office in Wigan and its satellite office in London.


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About Fitzdares

The Fitzdares Club has two permanent homes, in Mayfair and the Cotswolds. The former is a stone’s throw from Claridge’s by Bond Street, while the latter is at Ben Pauling’s yard with an 18 hole golf course.


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About Sports4Causes

Founded by Rupert Fowler, Sports 4 Causes is a new initiative launching in January 2024.

Sports 4 Causes will be providing racing enthusiasts the opportunity to attend the races as an owner both at flat and jumps meetings across several British racecourses.

We are working with the Racecourse Association, affiliated racecourses and donating owners who are helping us bring the owners raceday experience to life for our customers.

50% of revenue will be passed on to our chosen charity, Racing Welfare with 25% covering the affiliated racecourse’s costs.

As well as raising money for charity, we also hope to showcase the world of racehorse ownership and the various ownership options available to people at different price points.  We are extremely excited to welcome Sports 4 Causes customers to the races and to share the thrilling experience of racehorse ownership.


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About Owner Breeder magazine

Published by the ROA, members of the ROA receive a copy of the most exciting and informative monthly magazine for the racing and breeding industry. Regular features include incisive interviews with racing industry leaders, reports and analysis of the sales, big-race results with pedigree analysis, appearance and prize-money tables and much more.

Find out more about The Owner Breeder magazine by visiting their website.

Individuals who are not ROA members can subscribe to the magazine directly:

UK: 1 year: £60, 2 years: £100

Europe: 1 year: £90, 2 years: £150

Rest of the World: 1 year: £120, 2 years: £195

www.theownerbreeder.com