New Zealand Crown Champions
New Zealand Crown Champions
New Zealand Bloodstock enjoyed a successful evening at the annual New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards last night with Karaka graduates picking up four awards including the supreme honour of Horse of the Year, won by Ocean Park (NZ).
Karaka graduates picked up the titles of Champion Two-Year-Old (Ruud Awakening), Champion Middle Distance (Ocean Park) and Champion Stayer (Sangster) along with Fix who was crowned New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.
Ocean Park (Thorn Park) enjoyed a fruitful season when he won five of his eight starts with all his races competed at Group 1 level.
He started his spring campaign by winning the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes in New Zealand before embarking on a raid of Australian riches. The four-year-old swept all before him in Melbourne as he achieved the special feat of winning the Group 1 Underwood Stakes, Group 1 Caulfield Stakes and Group 1 Cox Plate treble, becoming only the sixth horse to do so.
In winning the ultimate weight-for-age contest, the Cox Plate, he became the fifth New Zealand-bred or sold horse to do so in the last six years. The son of Thorn Park cemented his status as one of the best horses in Australasia when he beat a strong Cox Plate field that included 10 individual Group 1 winners in the field.
In the autumn, Ocean Park won the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie and was destined for a Northern Hemisphere campaign. The entire travelled to Dubai for the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Stakes (1800m) where he injured a tendon in what turned out to be his final race day appearance.
Ocean Park was a $150,000 purchase by trainer Gary Hennessy from Trelawney Stud at the 2010 Karaka Select Sale and will stand his first season as a sire this year with Waikato Stud.
The Champion Two-Year-Old title went the way of Karaka Million and Group 1 Diamond Stakes winner Ruud Awakening (Bernardini). In the closest category of the night Ruud Awakening triumphed over unbeaten filly Recite (Darci Brahma), another Karaka graduate and winner of the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes, to claim the award.
Ruud Awakening won five of her six starts in New Zealand, three of them at stakes level, before becoming the first New Zealand based horse to compete in the Golden Slipper since 2005, however she found no luck after drawing the widest barrier in the capacity field.
She was $90,000 purchase by Albert Bosma’s Go Racing Ltd from the draft of Westbury Stud at the 2012 Karaka Premier Sale.
Last season’s Victoria Derby winner Sangster (Savabeel) shone as a four-year-old as he took out two Group 1 races on his way to being crowned Champion Stayer. The son of Savabeel won the Group 1 Waikato International Stakes and the Group 1 Auckland Cup in the New Zealand autumn. In between Group 1 successes he also added the Group 2 Avondale Cup to his tally.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained gelding was purchased from the 2010 Ready to Run Sale by Trent Busuttin from the draft of Kilgravin Lodge for $22,000.
The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year was also crowned at last night’s awards with the Ken & Bev Kelso trained Fix (Iffraaj) winning the coveted title. The daughter of Iffraaj took the Series with 27.5 points over her nearest rival Soriano on 19 points. Her three consecutive Group 2 wins in the Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic, NZB Royal Stakes & Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic and placing in the Group 1 NZB 1000 Guineas proving unsurpassable.
Fix was purchased by Gary Harding from Haunui Farm at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2011 Karaka Premier Sale for $220,000.
The night honoured many of the great performances on and off the racetrack with the late Jim Campin, a regular face at Karaka over the years, honoured posthumously with the Outstanding Contribution to Racing Award.
2013 NZTR Horse of the Year Award
HORSE OF THE YEAR Ocean Park
CHAMPION TWO YEAR OLD Ruud Awakening
CHAMPION THREE YEAR OLD Dundeel
CHAMPION SPRINTER (-1500M) Final Touch
CHAMPION MIDDLE DISTANCE HORSE (1501M-2100M) Ocean Park
CHAMPION STAYER (2101+) Sangster
CHAMPION JUMPER Tom's Myth
NEW ZEALAND BLOODSTOCK FILLY OF THE YEAR Fix
JOCKEY OF THE YEAR Opie Bosson
MCBEATH CHAMPION APPRENTICE RIDER Rory Hutchings
JUMPS JOCKEY OF THE YEAR Isaac Lupton
DUNSTAN TRAINER OF THE YEAR Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
OWNER OF THE YEAR Mr A Wong, Mr S Yan & Mr G Hennessy
MEDIA AWARD Mr Murray Owles
BREEDER OF THE YEAR Trelawney Thoroughbred Ltd - Brent & Cherry Taylor
BROODMARE OF THE YEAR Sayyida
DEWER STALLION TROPHY O’Reilly
GROSVENOR AWARD O’Reilly
CENTAINE AWARD O’Reilly
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO RACING Mr Jim Campin