• 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. 

    A total of 35 nominations have been made for the Horse Racing Ireland Awards, an increase of nine on last year. 

    The awards, which will be presented early next month, draw on nominees from across the Irish racing industry. Once again, a public vote will decide the outcome of the 2019 Ride of the Year winner with the contenders, chosen by Pat Smullen and Barry Geraghty, to be announced next week. 

    Eight 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, Racecourse of the Year and the Emerging Talent Award which is a new category for 2019. 


  • Emerging Talent

    Peter Flood

    Having brought his four-year riding career to an end in 2012, Peter Flood has made the quick transition to the training ranks and is emerging as one of the leading lights in the point-to-point division. His tally of 15 last season included winners at every level and a first across-the-card treble on Easter Sunday. Ourmanmassini is Peter’s star performer and is already a ten-time winner for the County Meath handler. 

    Darragh O'Keeffe

    Standing out amongst several hugely promising young National Hunt jockeys, Darragh the landed his 60th success and rode out his claim when winning the Cork National on the Michael Hourigan-trained The Gatechecker at Cork at the beginning of November of this year. Darragh rode his first winner only 16 months previously. It’s a measure of Darragh’s fine season that the Corkman occupies such a lofty position in the jockeys’ championship.

    Joey Sheridan

    Joey burst onto the scene this season and having ridden his first winner in April, ended the term with a highly commendable 20 winners. In a season notable for the number of talented Flat apprentices operating in Ireland, Joey shared his biggest winner to date with none other than trainer Willie Mullins, the pair combining to win the Tote Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh in October with Royal Illusion. 

    Andrew Slattery

    In only his second full season riding, Andrew was crowned joint-champion apprentice for 2019 with 43 winners. Along the way, he enjoyed big-race success in the Group 3 Loughbrown Stakes on the Dermot Weld-trained Kastasa having ridden the same horse to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Petingo' Handicap at Leopardstown on Longines Irish Champions Weekend two weeks previously. Andrew and fellow title holder Oisin Orr brought the apprentice table right down to the wire in November, eventually tied on the same number of winners.


  • Rachael Blackmore

    Rachael has cemented her position as one of the leading jockeys in the country with a second-place finish in last season’s jockeys’ championship and a string of big race victories throughout the season. She rode her first winners at the Cheltenham Festival in March on A Plus Tard and Minella Indo. Rachael brought that form to the Fairyhouse and Punchestown festivals where she was a Grade 1 winner on Honeysuckle and Minella Indo and landed the Kerry National at Listowel on Poker Party. 

    Henry De Bromhead

    Last season was easily Henry’s best in terms of the number of winners-trained and there was plenty of big-race success along the way. He added to his Cheltenham Festival tally with wins for A Plus Tard and Minella Indo, Ornua was an Aintree Grade 1 winner, Honeysuckle won at the same level at Fairyhouse and Minella Indo wrapped up a fantastic season at Punchestown with another Grade 1 win. 

    Gordon Elliott

    Tiger Roll was the undoubted star of Gordon’s year. He gained a fourth Cheltenham Festival success and became the first horse since Red Rum to win a second consecutive Aintree Grand National. Closer to home, Apple’s Jade was a dual Grade 1 winner in the first half of last season and then gave him his first Irish Champion Hurdle success at Leopardstown in February. He enjoyed three winners at the Cheltenham Festival and Delta Work was a Grade 1 winner for Gordon at the Punchestown Festival, while Borice gave him a third win in the last four years in thetote.com Galway Plate. 

  • National Hunt Achievement Award Nominees

    Jamie Codd

    One of the all-time great amateur riders, and a legend of the Point-to-Point scene, Wexford’s Jamie Codd became the winning-most amateur in the modern era at the Cheltenham Festival with nine wins after landing the National Hunt Chase on Le Breuil and the Weatherbys Champion Bumper on Envoi Allen in March. Jamie has won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase on four occasions, the National Hunt Chase and the Champion Bumper twice and the Cross Country Chase once. 


    Gavin Cromwell

    Gavin continues to go from strength to strength and enjoyed a terrific 12 months with the undoubted highlight being by his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival in March with Espoir D’Allen which recorded a record breaking 15-length success in the Champion Hurdle. Domestically, Gavin enjoyed his best season in 2018/2019 with 33 winners, a tally he already surpassed in the current term.

    Tony Martin

    The Guinness Galway Hurdle is renowned as being one of the most difficult races in the calendar to win and Tony Martin won the richest handicap hurdle in Ireland or Britain for the third time in six years when Tudor City struck at odds of 10/1 at Ballybrit in July. Trained by Tony for owner John Breslin, Tudor City was adding to the previous wins of Thomas Edison in 2014 and Quick Jack (also for Breslin) the following year. 


    Davy Russell

    One of the greats of the game, Davy Russell created history in April when he became the first Irish-based jockey to win consecutive renewals of the Grand National at Aintree. He had the most willing of partners in the remarkable Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott, which powered to a two and three-quarter length success over Magic Of Light in the famous race. Davy finished the season on a high domestically with Grade 1 victories at Punchestown on Delta Work and Buveur D’Air.

  • Willie Mullins

    In contrast to recent years when he had to battle for the championship, Willie Mullins ran away with the Irish trainers’ title last season. Highlights of Willie’s season included his breakthrough success with Al Boum Photo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and with four winners, he was the Cheltenham’s leading trainer for the sixth time. At home, he won the Irish Grand National for the first time with Burrows Saint.

    Paul Townend

    Paul was crowned champion jockey for the second time at the end of the 2018/2019 season with a personal best tally of 109 winners. His greatest day came at this year’s Cheltenham Festival where he won the Gold Cup for the first time on Al Boum Photo. He also landed the Arkle Chase on Duc Des Genievres and can now boast 10 festival winners. There was also big race success to come at Punchestown and in France with Benie Des Dieux.   


  • Jessica Harrington

    In a wonderful season, Jessica posted her best tally of winners highlighted by the remarkable success of her juvenile fillies. The exciting Albigna landed the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Derby weekend before winning the prestigious Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Arc day. There was also top-level success for the stable when Millisle won the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. 

    Colin Keane

    Colin bettered his 2017 championship winning score with 103 winners in Ireland this year. From the opening day success of Karawaan in the Tote Irish Lincolnshire, the season got better and better for Colin with Siskin providing him with a first domestic Group 1 in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and only weeks later he won the first £1 million Ebor Handicap at York on Mustajeer. 

    Ger Lyons

    Ger maintains his standing as one of Ireland’s leading trainers in a year that saw him saddle his first domestic Group 1 winner with Siskin in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes to add to his earlier success in the Railway Stakes, both at the Curragh. Other notable Lyons-trained winners in Ireland during the year were Who’s Steph, Viadera, Karawaan, Inverleigh and Psychedelic Funk while Mustajeer gained a huge success when winning Europe’s richest handicap, the £1 million Ebor Handicap at York. 



  • Ken Condon

    Romanised was a credit to Ken as he added to last season’s success in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas with wins in the Group 2 Minstrel Stakes and the Group 1 Prix du Jacques le Marois at Deauville in August. The four-year-old colt was also a close second to Circus Maximus in the Prix du Moulin in September when beaten by just a nose.

    Shane Crosse

    Shane ended the 2019 season on a high with three Group 3 winners in quick succession, a huge achievement for an apprentice. The Tipperary youngster rounded off another fine year with wins in the Renaissance Stakes on Speak In Colours, the Weld Park Stakes on New York Girl and the Eyrefield Stakes on Degraves, all for boss Joseph O’Brien.

    Seamie Heffernan

    Seamie is one of the most successful Irish-based jockeys of all time with an incredible array of big race triumphs around the globe. He is nominated for this award for landing the biggest win of his remarkable career in the Epsom Derby on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck in June. 

  • Denis Hogan

    His superb handling of Make A Challenge saw the four-year-old begin the season with a rating of 66 and rounding off the year by taking fifth place in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, with a rating of 112. He won six races along the way including two handicaps at the Galway Festival and the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh and emerges from a remarkable season as a top spring prospect for 2020. 

    Wayne Lordan

    The Corkman had a terrific time of things in 2019, beginning the season with success on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Hermosa in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and rounding off the year with a first Breeders’ Cup win on Iridessa, adding to their wins in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh and the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Longines Irish Champions Weekend. 


    Matthew Smith

    Matthew created history when One Cool Poet became the first horse to win three Flat races in the space of six days at the Galway festival – the same horse also won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Northfields Handicap at the Curragh on Longines Irish Champions Weekend. 


  • Al Boum Photo

    Willie Mullins’ agonising wait for a first Gold Cup success came to an end when Al Boum Photo stormed up the Cheltenham hill on that famous day in March. Mullins had saddled the runner-up in the race on six previous occasions over the last 20 years, but seven-year-old set the record straight with a gutsy success under Paul Townend for owners Joe and Marie Donnelly. 

    Apple’s Jade

    Star mare Apple's Jade brought her Grade 1 haul to ten with repeat successes in the Hatton’s Grade Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown before landing a runaway victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle, again at the Dublin venue. Her Grade 1 wins are unique in that they came over two miles, two and a half miles and three miles. 



    Iridessa landed three wins at the highest level for trainer Joseph O’Brien this year. A Group 1 winner as a two-year-old, she added to victories in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh and the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown when becoming the only European-trained winner at the Breeders’ Cup in the Grade 1 Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita in November.  

  • Kemboy

    Kemboy won his first Grade 1 race when taking the Savills Chase at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and while he got no further that the first fence in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, he bounced back with high profile successes at both the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals (Ruby Walsh’s last career ride), wins that saw him end the season as the highest-rated jumps horse in Ireland and Britain. 


    Successful in five pattern races during 2019, the brilliantly consistent Magical, a Group 1 winner as a three-year-old, brought her tally at the highest level to four with wins in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and finished of the season in style with victory in the British Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.

    Tiger Roll

    Tiger Roll had his name in lights on a couple of occasions in 2019 in another incredible year for an incredible horse. He scored a remarkable fourth success at the Cheltenham Festival in March when winning the Cross Country Chase for a second time and then became the first horse since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974 to win a second consecutive Aintree Grand National the following month. 


  • Colin Bowe

    Colin has dominated the training ranks within point-to-pointing for much of the last decade and 2019 was undoubtedly his best year to date. He claimed the leading handler award for the fifth time with a total of 45 winners, just two short of the record. It has been an exceptional year for his graduates with Envoi Allen maintaining an unbeaten run in bumpers and Samcro returning to winning ways over fences. The Glancing Queen, Ramses De Teillee, Getabird, Daklondike were among many other former Milestone Stables runners winning on the track. 


    Sam Curling

    Sam certainly had a year to remember, ending the season with 32 winners. Central to that personal best season was the star mare Longhouse Music, which won a record-breaking 13 races. Her domination saw her win the champion mare and share the champion point-to-pointer prizes. Curling’s Some Are Lucky also won seven races during the season, a total that would have been enough to secure the point-to-point horse award in many other years, and those two horses helped him to end the season with a notable strike rate of 35%.


    Barry O'Neill

    Barry has very much taken over the mantle from both Derek O’Connor and Jamie Codd as the sport’s number one rider, a title that he won for the third straight year in 2019. Ending the campaign on 67 winners, equalling his previous best single season tally, his strike rate jumped to a remarkable 29%. The Wexford rider also added a third title in his home region in the east and enjoyed notable track success on the Gordon Elliott-trained Ucello Conti in the Joseph O’Reilly Hunter Chase at Fairyhouse. 

    Maxine O’Sullivan

    Maxine spent the first four and a half months of the season on the side-lines after suffering a serious leg fracture in a fall at Listowel, with her first winner not coming until she partnered her father Eugene’s It Came To Pass at Lismore in mid-March. However, a great run of success left her within striking distance of Susie Doyle as the season drew to a close, and Maxine went to the top of the table with a final day winner at Ballingarry on June Bank Holiday Monday. Maxine rode a winner on each of the three last days of the season to clinch a fourth title. 

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