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
Videos of each nominated ride and the link to the
dedicated webpage can be found on goracing.ie and all HRI social media
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
National Hunt Award Nominee
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
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.
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
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.
National Hunt Achievement Award Nominee
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.
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.
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
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 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.
Flat Award Nominee
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
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.
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.
Flat Achievement Award
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Horse Of The Year Award Nominee
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 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.
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.
Horse Of The Year
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.
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
Point-To-Point Award Nominee
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.
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%.
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
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
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