Australian Horse of the Year Award Finalists announced

Racing NSW on Sunday revealed the finalists for the seven categories in the 2020/21 Australian Racehorse of the Year awards. 

With COVID restrictions remaining in place, this year’s ceremony will be broadcast live via Sky Thoroughbred Central on Monday, 11 October 2021. 

The awards acknowledge performances on Australian racecourses, as well as international performances by Australian-trained horses for the period 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021. 

The finalists in each category received the most votes from more than 70 of the nation’s most respected racing media and handicappers. 

Each category finalist is eligible for the Australian Racehorse of the Year title, one of two major awards on the night, the other being Racing NSW’s prestigious Bart Cummings Medal. 

Racing NSW’s Awards for Excellence will also be announced during the ceremony and apart from the Bart Cummings Medal, the TJ Smith award, George Moore award, Theo Green award, Sydney Strapper of the Year, BOBS Horse of the Year and the Caryl Williamson Racing Writer’s Media Personality of the Year will be announced. 

In the national awards, an elite group of young gallopers are the five finalists in the Champion Two-Year-Old title: Anamoe, Artorius, Converge, Shaquero and Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside. 

Similarly, the Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding has some exciting performers headed by triple Derby winner Explosive Jack, along with Mo’unga, Ole Kirk, Rothfire and Wild Ruler. 

Queensland Oaks heroine Duais heads the list for the Champion Three-Year-Old filly, along with Australian Oaks winner Hungry Heart, Instant Celebrity, Montefilia and September Run. 

Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Addeybb leads the charge in the Champion Middle Distance category (1401m-2199m), with others vying for the award being Arcadia Queen, Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet, multiple group 1-winning mare Verry Elleegant and Zaaki. 

The Champion Sprinter could go to any one of the five outstanding finalists: Behemoth, Bivouac, The Everest winner Classique Legend, Eduardo or the flying Nature Strip.

The Champion Stayer category (2200m+) is headed by Explosive Jack, with other contenders, Tancred Stakes winner Sir Dragonet, Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment, classy mare Verry Elleegant winner of the Caulfield Cup, and the vastly improved Zaaki. 

Grand National Hurdle winner Ablaze heads the list of the Champion Jumper, with others including Gold Medals, Saunter Boy, Social Element and Zed Em. 

Chris Waller has clinched the Champion Group 1 Trainer award with James McDonald claiming the Champion Group 1 Jockey title. 
Written Tycoon, sire of award contenders Ole Kirk and Odeum, is Australia’s Champion Stallion with many of his sons now forging their own successful careers at stud.


CHAMPION 2YO Anamoe Artorius Converge Shaquero Stay Inside 

CHAMPION 3YO FILLY Duais Hungry Heart Instant Celebrity Montefilia September Run 

CHAMPION 3YO COLT OR GELDING Explosive Jack (NZ) Mo’unga (NZ) Ole Kirk Rothfire Wild Ruler 

CHAMPION MIDDLE DISTANCE Addeybb (Ire) Arcadia Queen Sir Dragonet (Ire) Verry Elleegant (NZ) Zaaki (GB) 

CHAMPION STAYER Explosive Jack (NZ) Sir Dragonet (Ire) Twilight Payment (Ire) Verry Elleegant (NZ) Zaaki (GB) 

CHAMPION JUMPER Ablaze (NZ) Gold Medals (NZ) Saunter Boy (Fr) Social Element (NZ) Zed Em (NZ) 

CHAMPION SPRINTER Behemoth Bivouac Classique Legend Eduardo Nature Strip 


CHAMPION SIRE Written Tycoon 


Stay Inside and Tommy Berry winning the 2021 Group 1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill, picture