Again it’s the might of Sydney Racing on display with the World’s Best Racehorse Sprinter Nature Strip being crowned NSW Champion Horse of The Year at Racing’s Night of Champions.
Ridden all season by three-times George Moore Award campion jockey James McDonald, he is trained by TJ Smith Medal winning Chis Waller, in being NSW Champion Trainer for 10 consecutive seasons.
Also receiving the coveted Bart Cummings Medal, Chris Waller now has the distinction of having two World’s Best Raceshorses with his great mare Winx being co-World Champion two years-ago.
The 6yo chestnut gelding, Nature Strip is by Widden Stud’s top sprinting sire Nicconi, from the Gr3 winning Desert Sun mare Strikeline, also the dam of stakes winner The Barrister.
Originally trained by Darren Weir when passed in for $90,000 at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, he has won 14 races and $5.6m in stakes, being bred by Golden Grove at Denman.
Hosted by the NSW Racehorse Owners Association the Racing’s Night of Champions at Royal Randwick is a short list of finalists voted upon by industry leaders for a final selection.
Godolphin’s Newmarket Handicap, Golden Rose and Run to The Rose winner Bivouac was awarded Champion Three-Year-Old, and the duel Group 1 winner Fierce Impact the NSW Miler of The Year.
The Highclere Australia sponsored Champion Stayer Award went to Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant for winning The Tancred and Hill Stakes, plus being multiple Group 1 placed.
The Queen of The Autumn for the best performed in the Sydney Carnival fillies and mares’ races went to the US bred Con Te Partiro, in winning the Coolmore Classic and Queen of The Turf Stakes.
The Victory Stakes winner Victorem was named Champion Country Horse, sponsored by Sky Thoroughbred Central, having also finished second in The Kosciuszko for country horses.
Australian Bloodstock had all three finalists for Champion Provincial Horse with Raheen House gaining the judges verdict on winning the Chairman’s Handicap and third in the Sydney Cup.
The BOBS Horse of The Year was a tie between the Denise’s Joy Stakes winner Fituese and Highclere Australia’s Edison who won four races last season.
Champion NSW Apprentice Robbie Dolan received the Theo Green Award and Graeme Wilson from Kris Lees Racing the Sydney Strapper of the Year.
The Caryl Williamson Racing Writers’ Personality of The Year went to trainer Greg Hickman who last season had the Aquis Farm sire Pierata win the All Aged Stakes.
The NSW Trainers’ Association dedicated their award to fellow trainer and NSW Trainers Board member Rick Worthington who recently passed away.