The nominees for the 2017 annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards were
announced today, with 28 Irish trainers, jockeys and horses in contention for one
of six prestigious awards. RTE sports
broadcaster Des Cahill will be master of ceremonies for the awards, which take
place at Leopardstown Racecourse on Tuesday, December 5.
Awards are presented in seven categories: Horse of the Year, National
Hunt Racing, Flat Racing, Point-to-Point Racing, Outstanding Achievement, Contribution
to the Industry and Racecourse of the Year.
Four category winners are decided by a ballot of the Irish racing media
– Horse of the Year, National Hunt, Flat and Point-to-Point.
Nominations for the Horse
of the Year award include triple Gold Cup winner Sizing John; BoyleSports
Irish Grand National winner Our Duke; Capri, the first horse since the
legendary Nijinsky in 1970 to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the
Curragh and the English St Leger in the same year; Winter, a four-time Group 1
winner in 2017; Highland Reel, Europe’s highest ever prizemoney winner and
winner of two of the biggest Group 1 contests this year, the Coronation Cup at
Epsom and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot; and Un De Sceaux,
successful in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, Clarence House Chase at
Cheltenham and Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Harrington, Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead and jockeys Robbie
Power and Ruby Walsh are nominated in the National
The Flat nominees are
trainers Aidan O’Brien and Ger
Lyons and jockeys Colin Keane, Seamie Heffernan and Oisin Orr.
category is made up of Jamie Codd, Liz Lalor, Barry O’Neill, Denis Murphy
and Colin Bowe.
The winner of the Outstanding
Achievement Award is voted on by
the Irish racing media and the general public through the HRI website www.goracing.ie or through forms available from HRI. Voting opens on Tuesday morning, November 14.
The nominees in this category, selected by the Irish racing media, are trainers Joseph O’Brien, the youngest-ever trainer to
win the world’s richest handicap, The Melbourne Cup, and Pat Kelly who achieved
the notable feat of winning the hugely competitive Pertemps Final Handicap
Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for the second consecutive year with
Presenting Percy, having won the race 12 months earlier with Mall Dini.
Jockeys Lisa O’Neill,
Rachael Blackmore, Padraig Beggy and Jack Kennedy have also been nominated in
The Contribution to the
Industry Award will be announced by HRI Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh.
This award is HRI’s recognition of an individual or entity whose overall work
and achievements have made a lasting positive impression on racing and breeding
in Ireland. Previous winners include Des Scahill, Mick O’Toole, Jim Bolger,
Moyglare Stud, Dermot Weld, Colm Murray, Michael Kinane and Mrs Maureen
The Racecourse of the Year Award winner will be presented by a member of the
Racegoers’ Consultative Forum. Previous winners include Leopardstown, Dundalk,
Ballinrobe and Galway.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of HRI said: “2017 has been a most extraordinary
year on the racetrack for Irish horses, from the spring of the year right
through to this past week, and the Horse Racing Ireland Awards give us the
opportunity to relive those tremendous achievements in the Irish racing
industry, both at home and on the world stage. I would like to congratulate all
the nominees and look forward to celebrating their achievements at Leopardstown
on Tuesday, December 5.”
Full details on the awards including categories and nominees will be available at www.goracing.ie A live stream of the awards will also be available
on December 5. Voting is now open for
the Outstanding Achievement category.