The unheralded members of the Australian racing industry will get their moment in the sun with the Australian incarnation of the Godolphin Stud and Stable Awards.
The awards will acknowledge stud and stable staff across Australia, with six categories and $100,000 prize money up for grabs.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin already sponsors the concept in England and Ireland with the Australian version launched at his Crown Lodge stables in Sydney on Tuesday.
“(Racing) is like the duck. What you see on top, you don’t see what’s carrying on below,” champion trainer and awards ambassador Gai Waterhouse said.
“The show goes on the road thanks to these people.
“You’ve got to have someone that orchestrates, and others that make it happen.”
Racing NSW Chairman John Messara said recognition for Australian stud and stable staff, who often work long and arduous days, was long overdue.
“There are 20,000 workers in that sphere. They do a lot of work and they’re devoted to their horses, and quite often they go unrecognised,” he said.
“Small, large, stables, studs … a whole variety of people will be capable of winning those awards.”
Henry Plumptre, managing director of Godolphin Australia, said he hoped the scheme would help attract people to the industry and keep them there.
“It’s been running over (in Britain) for quite a while,” Plumptre said.
“The vision we had in England was that everyone would be touched by it, and everyone would have a go.
“It’s a way of us trying to reward not only the old members of staff, but a way of trying to encourage young people to stay in the industry, or even come into the industry in the first place.”
Nominations opened on Tuesday and close on September 28, with the inaugural winners to be announced on November 24.