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Winx was awarded the highest honour as Horse of the Year
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Winx and the team behind the champion mare have swept the awards conducted by the NSW Racehorse Owners Association and Racing NSW.

As expected by her deeds during the season, Winx was awarded the highest honour as Horse of the Year and picked up the miler and middle distance trophies.

Her trainer Chris Waller earned his seventh Bart Cummings medal, voted by racing media, and also the TJ Smith medal as Sydney’s premiership winner.

Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman was presented with the George Moore medal as the premier jockey while Andrew Adkins was the Theo Green medal winner as the leading apprentice.

“Winning seven straight Bart Cummings Medals and Sydney trainers’ premierships is an amazing accomplishment. Chris has branded himself a leader in our sport,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.

Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign’s large band of owners celebrated her win in the two-year-old category while many of the all-female group which owns Global Glamour were on hand as she was named the state’s leading three-year-old.

Le Romain won the Provincial Horse of the Year from his fellow Group One-winning Kris Lees-trained stablemates Sense Of Occasion and Clearly Innocent.

Single Gaze, trained in Canberra by Nick Olive, took out the award as the Country Horse of the Year.

Tyccon Tara was named the Sprinter of the Year and while there was some controversy Chautauqua was not nominated in that category, the three-time TJ Smith Stakes winner received a special honour, the NSWROA Industry Recognition award.

As all winners thanked the stable staff for their contributions, there was a special poignancy to the Strapper of the Year.

The award went to Riharna Thomson who lost her life in a trackwork accident in March and was accepted by her parents.

Thomson was an integral part of the Keith Dryden/Scott Collings stable in Canberra and Dryden paid tribute to her in a statement.

“Riharna came to our stables with a desire to become a confident stablehand/trackwork rider,” he said.

“Not only did she ride extremely well, but her efforts around the stables were outstanding and she was promoted to a stable foreperson in February 2017.

“I cannot recall her ever being late for duties or having a sick day. On many occasions after returning from interstate raceday engagements late in the evening, Riharna would not leave the stables until those travelling horses were all bedded down and she had prepared the race gear bag for the following day.

“While being such a fine employee, Riharna still found time to undertake a four-year part-time uni course in politics. Riharna was one of the most loyal and outstanding workers I have employed in my 30-plus years as a trainer and her loss has been devastating to us all.”

 
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