Trainer Tony Gollan has added a second Wayne Wilson Medal to his ever-growing list of award achievements … and he was particularly chuffed with the honour which is decided in a unique format in which every trainer of any standing has a chance to get over the line.
The Wayne Wilson Medal is a concept which not only honours the memory of a much-respected race-caller, but it also remains true to Wayne Wilson’s wish to give every trainer punching above their weight due recognition and a chance for small trainers to mix it with the big trainers for Medal honours.
In essence the contest is grounded in the fact that trainer performances are evaluated on the basis how well they do with what they have, in other words … how they raise their personal bar above the norm.
Monthly winners are selected throughout the season as a preliminary step in the process and then those winning performances are voted on by a panel of nineteen judges with the same clear criteria to determine the winner.
This year the contest epitomised the rationale behind the concept as the nineteen step, round by round voting call came down to a straight fight between Tony Gollan, a eight times Brisbane Metropolitan Trainers’ Premiership winner who was nominated for his Group 1 win with Vega One, and Kevin Hansen, a trainer with a small string based in Rockhampton, who guided the filly Sweet Dolly through an unbeaten season which included a win in the $500 000 Aquis QTIS Jewel … with Gollan, like Vega One, only getting home in the last few strides.
“It’s always a really interesting award because of the way this award is adjudicated,” said Gollan.
“It’s not about training the biggest winner of the year. It’s about going above and beyond how you do things. It’s a great award because it is the award that Wayne wanted. He was a fantastic man and a fantastic race-caller so to win this award for a second time is a real privilege. I’m just thrilled to have won it.
“Kevin would have been a worthy winner but, really, anyone of the other candidates could have won the award and nobody would have complained. It’s fantastic to have won it, but it was also so good for all of us to be in a room with our peers. That’s what it is all about … enjoying everyone’s achievements.
“It is just a terrific initiative.”