• Voting has now closed for the 2018 Ride of the Year Award

    Two of Ireland’s greatest jockeys, Johnny Murtagh and Ruby Walsh have chosen six nominees and it’s up to racing fans to decide on the winner. 

    Videos of each nominated ride and the link to the dedicated webpage can be found on goracing.ie and all HRI social media channels.   

    The nominations for this brand-new award are jockeys Colin Keane, Derek O’Connor, Kevin Manning, Davy Russell, Danny Sheehy and Paul Townend. 

    See the full list of the 2018 nominations for the annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards, with 26 Irish trainers, jockeys and horses in the running to win an award.

    Awards are presented in a variety of categories across the entire racing industry. Seven category winners are decided by a ballot of the Irish racing media - Horse of the Year, National Hunt Award, National Hunt Achievement Award, Flat Award, Flat Achievement Award, Point-to-Point Award, and Racecourse of the Year. 

    A new award for 2018 is Ride of the Year and the winner will be chosen by a public vote.

    RTE sports broadcaster Hugh Cahill will be master of ceremonies for the awards, which take place in Dublin on Tuesday December 4th. 

  • NATIONAL HUNT AWARD NOMINEES

  • Gordon Elliott

    Gordon enjoyed great success on both sides of the Irish Sea and was crowned the leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time with a record-equalling eight winners in March. The following month, Tiger Roll gave him a second success in the Aintree Grand National. Closer to home, Gordon became the first trainer to saddle the winner of the three Grade 1 races at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival last December. He also landed three Grade 1 races at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and carried his winning form into 2018 when winning the Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park before recording his first success in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Fairyhouse. TheTote.com Galway Plate was a major summer success for Gordon. Samcro, Apple’s Jade and Shattered Love were dual Grade 1 winners for Elliott since December 1, 2017.  

    Willie Mullins

    Another remarkable year saw Willie Mullins maintain his grip on the Irish National Hunt Trainers’ Championship with a record total of 212 winners. He saddled a record 18 winners at the Punchestown Festival alone (including a remarkable six out of seven on the Wednesday). He has saddled 15 Grade 1 winners in Ireland since December 1st, 2017. He became the winning-most trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival with 61 winners, seven of which came last March. He achieved a personal milestone of 3,000 career winners when Timi Roli won at Wexford in June. 

    Davy Russell

    Was crowned champion jockey for the third time in April this year with a tally of 119 winners. He rode four winners at the Cheltenham Festival to become leading rider at the meeting for the first time and further big race success came his way with Tiger Roll in the Aintree Grand National, and he was a Grade 1 winner closer to home thanks to Apple’s Jade, The Storyteller and Death Duty. 

    Patrick Mullins

    Crowned champion amateur for the tenth time at the Punchestown festival in April, Patrick rode a Grade 1 winner on Un De Sceaux the same week. He rode his fourth Cheltenham Festival winner on Rathvinden in the National Hunt Chase and became the first amateur rider in 27 years to win the Guinness Galway Hurdle on Sharjah. Patrick set a new record of 546 winners when winning on Queens Boulevard, trained by his father Willie at Sligo in July. 

  • National Hunt Achievement Award Nominees

    Rachael Blackmore

    Has maintained her winning form throughout the year, leading the jockey’s championship until after the Listowel Festival. Her success on Patricks Park at the Dublin Racing Festival and three winners at the Punchestown Festival kept her name in lights as did her unprecedented treble at Tipperary in July becoming the first female rider to complete such a feat. In more recent times, Bedrock has been a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 winner for her.  

    Pat Kelly

    For a trainer with a small string of horses, Pat Kelly is nominated for this award for his remarkable achievement of saddling a winner at the Cheltenham Festival for each of the last three years as Presenting Percy emerged as a top-notch chaser with a runaway success in the Grade 1 RSA Chase in March. He enjoyed a thoroughly successful campaign at home, adding to his initial success over fences at Galway in October of last year with wins in the valuable Bar One Racing Porterstown Handicap Chase and the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle. 

    Mark Enright

    Mark is fully deserving of his nomination after a thrilling success on Clarcam in TheTote.com Galway Plate during the summer. His audacious front-running ride on the unconsidered 33/1 success yielded the Limerick man with his biggest success in the saddle and played a pivotal role in him becoming the leading National Hunt rider at the Galway Festival. Earlier in the year, Mark won the valuable Coral Hurdle on the Charles Byrnes-trained Off You Go. 

     

  • Joseph O'Brien

    Not withstanding his success on the Flat in 2018, Joseph receives a nomination in this category for his wonderful success with Edwulf in the Unibet Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in early February. Edwulf sustained serious injuries in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival just 11 months earlier but was nursed back to full health to record a famous success in Ireland’s premier steeplechase. 

     

    Gavin Cromwell

    Gavin’s nomination for his award comes courtesy of his brilliant success in the ultra-competitive Welsh National at Chepstow in early January with the sprightly 13-year-old Raz De Maree. He became only the second Irish trainer to win the race in a year where the stable also excelled with Princess Yaiza which showed great progression to win the Group 2 Qatar Prix De Royallieu, Ireland’s only winner at Paris Longchamp on Arc weekend. 

  • FLAT AWARD NOMINEES

  • Aidan O’Brien

    In becoming champion trainer for the 21st time, Aidan set a record for the number of winners in a season in Ireland with a haul of 152. He was a Classic winner at home with Flag Of Honour in the Irish St Leger and enjoyed 14 Group 1 winners worldwide, including the English 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Doncaster St Leger.  

    Jessica Harrington

    Enjoyed a summer to remember with the fantastic exploits of the four-time Group 1 winner Alpha Centauri who gave Jessica her first ever Classic success in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas in May. The following month, Alpha Centauri gave Jessica a much sought after first Royal Ascot win in the Coronation Stakes and she went on to win the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville in August. 

    Joseph O'Brien

    Runner-up to his father Aidan in the trainers’ championship in only his second full season with a licence in terms of prizemoney won and winners trained, Joseph landed his first Irish Classic when Latrobe won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and further Group 1 success was achieved when Iridessa won the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket. Joseph also enjoyed considerable success with his runners in handicaps during the year. Waitingfortheday and Rockfish won four handicaps while Song Of The Sky and Perfect Tapatino each won three handicap races. 

     

    Donnacha O'Brien

    Crowned champion jockey for the first time with a total of 111 winners. Won his first Classics in 2018 in both Ireland and England when taking the English 2,000 Guineas on Saxon Warrior and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Latrobe, trained by his brother Joseph. He also landed the Epsom Oaks on Forever Together and further Group 1 successes with two-year-olds Ten Sovereigns, Fairyland and Magna Grecia.  

  • Flat Achievement Award Nominees

    Ken Condon

    Ken is nominated for the Flat Achievement Award as he joined the Classic roll of honour when the Shane Foley-ridden Romanised landed the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh in May. It was Ken’s first winner of the season and the biggest winner of his career to date. 

    Patrick Prendergast

    The memorable season enjoyed by Skitter Scatter who rose through the ranks to land the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Longines Irish Champions Weekend sees Patrick nominated in this category. This Dundalk maiden winner went on to land the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown and Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh before her high-profile end of season success. Cedars Of Lebanon was a three-time winner for Patrick during the year and enjoyed a notable end-of-season success when landing the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final. 

     

    Colm O’Donoghue

    No stranger to big race success, Colm is fully deserving of his nomination for his superb handling of the mighty Alpha Centauri. A four-time Group 1 winner, she was a Classic winner in Ireland before going on to record big-race successes at Royal Ascot, Newmarket and Deauville. Colm also enjoyed notable wins with during the year with the likes of triple Curragh scorer I’m So Fancy, Pincheck, Beautiful Morning and One Master. 

     

  • Darren Bunyan

    Darren’s faith in Hit The Bid was vindicated this year and he is nominated in this category for his skilful campaigning of the horse over a long season. The four-year-old landed a valuable handicap at Meydan in February and held his form throughout, finishing a little over a length behind Havana Grey in the Group 1 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes before ending the season on a winning note in the Group 3 Mercury Stakes at Dundalk in October. 

    David Marnane

    David’s handling of the progressive Settle For Bay sees him nominated here. He won four consecutive races on the all-weather late last year and on just his second start in 2018, he became only the third Irish-trained winner of the fiercely competitive Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in 62 years. 

     

    Shane Crosse

    Having ridden his first winner in April of this year, Shane Crosse from Cahir, County Tipperary, kept banging in the winners and was crowned champion apprentice seven months later with a total of 28 winners. Shane Crosse rode winners for 11 different trainers during the season. 

     

  • HORSE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES

  • Alpha Centauri

    A four-time Group 1 winner and one of the stars of the summer, Alpha Centauri bounced back to winning form with a taking victory in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas in May and she never looked back. A famous Royal Ascot win was secured the following month in the Coronation Stakes and she went on to land the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July and the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois at Deauville in August, a race sponsored by her owners, the Niarchos Family. 

    Tiger Roll

    Tiger Roll became a three-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival when adding to previous successes in the Triumph Hurdle (2014) and the four-mile National Hunt Chase in 2017 with a gutsy win in this year’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. And better was to come from the eight-year-old which went on to win a thrilling renewal of the Aintree Grand National in April where he prevailed by a head from Pleasant Company. 

    Un De Sceaux

    A truly remarkable performer, Un De Sceaux enjoyed another cracking season that saw him land the Hilly Way Chase at Cork before he won the Clarence House Chase for a third successive year. Runner-up in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he was back in the winners’ enclosure at Fairyhouse the following month and again at the Punchestown Festival where he brought his Grade 1 tally to nine with success in the BoyleSports Champion Chase. He has been placed first or second in 26 of his 29 starts. 

    Footpad

    The star novice of last season, Footpad was unbeaten in five starts over fences with four of his wins coming at Grade 1 level. His chasing career began with a clear-cut beginners’ chase success at Navan and a remarkable run at the highest level began at Leopardstown at Christmas and continued at the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival at the same racecourse in February. There was Arkle success at the Cheltenham Festival and his season wrapped up with a win in the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown in April. 

  • POINT-TO-POINT AWARD NOMINEES

  • Barry O'Neill

    The 2017/18 season saw Barry O’Neill successfully defend the national rider’s title thanks to a total of 59 winners on 53 different horses with an impressive strike rate of 22%. Barry rode four trebles at Oldcastle, Monksgrange, Loughrea and Borris House which helped him not only retain his eastern rider’s title but also claim a first title in the northern region. On the track O’Neill teamed up with point-to-point recruit Commander Of Fleet to win the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival. 

    Donnchadh Doyle

    Donnchadh achieved the historic feat last season of saddling seven winners in one day at three fixtures. The Wexford native has quickly become one of the biggest operators on the point-to-point circuit and in total last season handled a career best of 28 winners. This was achieved with a strike rate of 26% for 2017/2018 and among those winners were a plethora of horses that were very popular in the sales rings including Phoenix Way, Feel My Pulse and Dlauro.

     

    Liz Lalor

    Liz continued her domination of the ladies’ title, winning it for the fourth consecutive year and making it a record-breaking seventh title in total. The 2017/18 season proved to be her best to date, winning a total of 13 races, and those successes brought her to within one winner shy of a career century in point-to-points. She is the third most successful female point-to-point rider of all time and is now within reach of Rosemary Rooney (101 winners) and Helen Bryce-Smyth (106).

     

    Colin Bowe

    In the 11 years of the leading point-to-point handlers award, Colin Bowe has dominated the category and won it for the sixth time last season. A total of 33 winners earned him a fourth successive title and featured sales ring hits Trevelyn’s Corn, Straight Red, Envoi Allen and Lock’s Corner. Former graduate Samcro flew the flag for Milestone Stables on the track winning two Grade 1s, at the Dublin Racing Festival and the Cheltenham Festival.

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