Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller continues to break records in New South Wales and on Thursday night was presented with his eighth successive Bart Cummings Medal during the NSW Racing’s Night of Champions awards held at Royal Randwick.
The Bart Cummings Medal point score – honouring the legendary trainer who passed away just under three years ago – is comprised of votes from leading Sydney racing journalists.
With an incredible 189 city winners for the 2017/18 season, Waller easily passed his previous milestone of 169 wins established during the 2015/16 racing season.
Waller cleared away in the Bart Cummings Medal point scores with 110 points for the season, well in advance of runner-up Jason Collett (34 points) with Brenton Avdulla finishing third on 32 points.
Waller also collected the T.J. Smith Award for Sydney’s leading trainer, finishing 95 winners in advance of runner-up, James Cummings.
Chris Waller, picture Sportpix.com.au
“Chris Waller is a trailblazer not just in thoroughbred racing, but in sport, and continues to set new benchmarks,” said Mr Peter V’landys, Racing NSW’s Chief Executive.
“Chris and his team must be congratulated for the professional and dedicated way they go about their business and these accomplishments bear testament to their outstanding efforts.”
Brenton Avdulla claimed his first George Moore Award for winning the Sydney Jockeys’ Premiership with 92 wins for the season, finishing 12 in advance of Blake Shinn. Brenton went one better than his second placing last year to Hugh Bowman.
Rachel King, now a fully-fledged jockey, took out the coveted Theo Green Award for leading Sydney apprentice with 38 wins for the season. King held off a determined Jean Van Overmeire to win by 3½ winners.
NSW Racehorse Owners award winners were: -
Winx (TAB.com.au NSW Champion Horse of the Year and NZ Bloodstock Middle-Distance Horse of the Year)
Estijaab (ATC NSW Two-year-old of the Year)
Trapeze Artist (International Animal Health Products NSW Three-year-old of the Year)
In Her Time (Sky Thoroughbred Central NSW Provincial Horse of the Year)
The Monstar (Sky Thoroughbred Central NSW Country Horse of the Year)
Redzel (ATC NSW Sprinter of the Year)
Who Shot Thebarman (Emirates NSW Stayer of the Year)
Prompt Response (Inglis Queen of the Autumn)
The NSWROA Committee acknowledged the wonderful service to the industry of the late Mr Noel Bracks by presenting his family with the NSWROA Industry Recognition Award.
The remaining Racing NSW award winners were: -
Pat Webster (NSW Racing Writers’ Personality of the Year): The Daily Telegraph’s Ray Thomas said: “After more than 50 years as a leading trainer at Randwick, Pat Webster has had a career-best season on the racetrack, preparing Happy Clapper to win three Group 1 races and achieving a lifelong dream of winning the Doncaster Mile. But arguably, Pat’s successes off the racetrack have been even more noteworthy. His work with Racing NSW’s ‘Racing Mates’ program where he offers counselling and support for racing industry participants who are suffering hardship, either financially or emotionally, is invaluable and inspirational. He is truly the most deserving winner of the NSW Racing Writers’ Personality of the Year award.”
Lindy Wharekura (Sydney Strapper of the Year – Peter & Paul Snowden stable): Strapped Moss Trip, Eawase and That’s a Good Idea. Snowden Racing commented: “Lindy is an integral part of our stable and has excellent horse and people skills. She adores working and nurturing difficult horses, she calms them and has great patience. Lindy treats her horses as her own babies and if one has a temperature spike, she’ll check the horse throughout the night to make sure it’s OK. Lindy has an affinity with horses and her cats and has been known as ‘the cat lady’. Lindy has a diploma in management but prefers to work in the stable. She is a great asset to our business and we are very proud of Lindy. She is a very soft and giving young lady who always cares for others.”
Epidemic (BOBS Horse of the Year): The James Cummings-trained mare stormed to four city victories during the season – three at Rosehill Gardens and one at Royal Randwick. Owned by Godolphin, Epidemic accumulated $78,750 in BOBS bonuses and beat Albumin ($73,125) and her stablemate Savatiano ($67,500) for the award.
Final standings for the 2017-18 Bart Cummings Medal: -
110 - Chris WALLER
34 - Jason COLLETT
32 - Brenton AVDULLA
30 - Hugh BOWMAN
24 - Rachel KING
20 - Kerrin McEVOY
20 - Peter & Paul SNOWDEN
18 – Tye ANGLAND, Jay FORD, Josh PARR, Gai WATERHOUSE/Adrian BOTT
16 – James CUMMINGS