Enable scoops ROA Horse of the Year title for third successive year
Khalid Abdullah’s champion mare Enable swept the board at the ROA’s 38th Horseracing Awards at a glittering evening in London, landing the headline award of Horse of the Year for the third successive year.
She cemented her victory by also scooping the Zeus Capital Outstanding Filly and Mare award and Zeus Capital Outstanding Middle Distance horse titles. This brings Khalid Abdullah's tally to 28 ROA awards since the turn of the century.
The awards are voted for every year by the ROA’s 7,900-strong membership.
The closest vote came for the ROA Owner of the Year title with Paisley Park’s owner Andrew Gemmell gaining just six more votes than Khalid Abdullah.
Gemmell has enjoyed a marvellous year with the exploits of Paisley Park, who was also voted Racing Breaks Outstanding Hurdler, and secured a famous double recently with his champion stayer triumphing in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, just 24 hours before De Rasher Counter – a horse he owns as part of the Makin’ Bacon Partnership – capturing the Ladbrokes Trophy. Award makers Inkerman assisted the ROA in personalising his trophies in braille.
Altior, owned by former ROA Board member Patricia Pugh captured the Racing Breaks Outstanding Chaser Award for a second time from dual-Grand National winner Tiger Roll.
Saturday’s Tingle Creek winner Defi du Seuil won the Racing Breaks Outstanding Novice Chaser prize for owner JP McManus.
Syndicates were also triumphant as Pentland Hills landed the Racing Breaks Outstanding Novice Hurdler title for the Owners Group, whilst popular northern mare Lady Buttons received recognition for her fantastic season and was awarded the Racing Breaks Outstanding National Hunt Mare title for Jayne Sivills – the first British-based mare to win the award since its inception in 2016.
Pinatubo again swept all before him as he has done all year, running away with the Zeus Capital Outstanding Juvenile award for Godolphin. Stradivarius was similarly a resounding winner of the Zeus Capital Outstanding Stayer award for the second time for Owner Breeder Bjorn Nielsen.
The John Gosden yard was also celebrating a fifth award on the evening after Too Darn Hot won the Outstanding Miler category, following up from his Juvenile title last year for Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Hamdan Al Maktoum’s mercurial speed machine Battaash saw off competition from Blue Point to be crowned Outstanding Sprinter.
The Fleming Accountancy Special Achievement Awards celebrates horses that have not quite made it into the main award nominations but have brought something extra to the season, and this year was no different with the improving sprinter Dakota Gold rewarded for his five wins in the Flat category for his owners Doug Graham and Ian Davison, and the popular chaser Frodon coming out on top after his exploits with Bryony Frost in the Ryanair in a competitive National Hunt Category for owner Paul Vogt.
The ARC Outstanding All-Weather Award also produced a highly popular winner with the super-fast Kachy gaining recognition for his fine exploits on a synthetic surface for his enthusiastic owner David Lowe.
Four racecourse industry awards were also given on the evening, with top honours going jointly to Chester and York for the Large Racecourse of the Year and Musselburgh coming out on top in the Small Racecourse category. Thirsk and Newmarket (Rowley Mile) were most improved in their respective categories.
Full awards list for 2019:
- Horse of the Year: Enable
- ROA Owner of the Year: Andrew Gemmell
- Outstanding Novice Hurdler: Pentland Hills
- Outstanding Hurdler: Paisley Park
- Outstanding Novice Chaser: Defi du Seuil
- Outstanding Chaser: Altior
- Outstanding National Hunt Mare: Lady Buttons
- Outstanding All-Weather Horse: Kachy
- Outstanding Juvenile: Pinatubo
- Outstanding Filly/Mare: Enable
- Outstanding Sprinter: Battaash
- Outstanding Middle Distance: Enable
- Outstanding Stayer: Stradivarius
- Outstanding Miler: Too Darn Hot
- National Special Achievement Award: Frodon
- Flat Special Achievement Award: Dakota Gold
- ROA Gold Standard Large Racecourse of the Year: Chester and York
- ROA Gold Standard Small Racecourse of the Year: Musselburgh
- ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Large Racecourse: Newmarket (Rowley Mile)
- ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Small Racecourse: Thirsk