Australian Racehorse of the Year finalists unveiled

The nominees for the prestigious 2022/2023 Australian Racehorse of the Year awards have been announced today by Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) in association with Racing Australia.

This year’s awards will be held at Optus Stadium in Perth on 23 November, in what will be a spectacular double header with the Australian Racing Hall of Fame ceremony.

The Australian Racehorse of the Year awards acknowledge performances on Australian racecourses, as well as international performances by Australian-trained horses for the period 1 August 2022 to 31 July 2023.

The nominees in each category have obtained the most votes from more than 70 of the nation’s most respected racing media, handicappers and form analysts.

Each nominee will be eligible to be crowned Australian Racehorse of the Year on the evening, joining previous winners including champions such as Winx, Nature Strip, Verry Elleegant, Black Caviar, Sunline and Makybe Diva.

Contenders for the Champion Two-Year-Old category include the Chris Waller-trained Golden Slipper winner Shinzo, Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes winner Militarize, Silver Slipper winner Cylinder, Blue Diamond winner Little Brose and Group 1 JJ Atkins winner King Colorado.

Some outstanding three-year-olds will be vying for the Champion Colts or Geldings category including last year’s Everest and All Aged Stakes winner Giga Kick, The CF Orr’s winner Jacquinot, Caulfield Guineas winner Golden Mile, Queensland Derby winner Kovalica and exciting Spring Champion Stakes winner Sharp ‘n’ Smart.

For the Champion Three-Year-Old Filly category, contenders include the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes and Newmarket Handicap winner In Secret, the Group 1 Lightning and Moir Stakes winner Coolangatta, WA’s golden girl and Group 1 Northerly winner Amelia’s Jewel, the Group 1 Vinery winner Prowess and Group 1 Australian Guineas winner Legarto.

All Champion Sprinter finalists demonstrated their brilliance in the season including last year’s Golden Eagle and TJ Smith winner I Wish I Win along with Giga Kick, Anamoe, In Secret and Joe Pride’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Think About It.

Leading the charge for the Champion Middle Distance award is Anamoe, with unforgettable performances in the George Main, The Cox Plate, the Chipping Norton and George Ryder. Mr Brightside’s magnificent All Star Mile and Doncaster wins also place him in serious contention. The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Ranvet Stakes winner Dubai Honour is most deserving of a place in this strong line-up, alongside I’m Thunderstruck, winner of the Makybe Diva. Lastly, the crowd favourite, Underwood and Futurity Stakes winner Alligator Blood completes an exceptional list of finalists for this category.

Fighting it out for the Champion Stayer will be Durston, Explosive Jack, Golden Mile, Without A Fight and Kovalica.

The competition is also fierce for the Champion Jumper Award with Bell Ex One, Circle The Sun and the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Stern Idol, Saunter Boy and Rockstar Ronnie.

After a phenomenal racing season, Chris Waller has clinched yet again, for the fourth consecutive year the Champion Group 1 Trainer award, with James Mcdonald claiming Group 1 Champion Jockey title for the third year running. I am Invincible, has claimed back-to-back titles as Australia’s Champion Sire.

RWWA Chief Racing Officer David Hunter congratulated all award category finalists on their performances for the 2022/2023 season.

“Making it to the final five in each category is a testament to a remarkable season and something to be very proud of,” David said.

“I look forward to celebrating the equine heroes and all those associated with their excellence in November.”

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