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Equus Awards 2016

Legal Eagle voted Horse of the Year

The Sean Tarry trained Greys Inn gelding Legal Eagle swept the boards and was crowned 2015/16 SA Horse Of The Year

Legal Eagle wins LQP

Legal Eagle wins L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate

The 5yo son of Greys Inn was bred by Avontuur Stud and races in the silks of SA Champion owners, Ingrid and Markus Jooste of Mayfair Speculators (Pty) Ltd.

Legal Eagle won three Gr1 races during the season, and was runner-up in the Gr1 J&B Met behind the high-class Breeders Cup bound filly, Smart Call. The daughter of Ideal World was the recipient of two awards and was fancied in many quarters for the Horse Of The Year title.

Pippa Mickleburgh is looking forward to a big day

Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh – over the moon

Legal Eagle impressed when winning South Africa’s premier weight-for-age mile, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate during the Cape Summer Of Champions, and then followed that with two scintillating victories in April – the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and then ending his campaign with another facile victory in the Premier’s Champions Challenge.

With Racing Manager Derek Brugman away at the Arqana Sale in France, Markus Jooste was on hand to collect the trophy, together with SA Champion Trainer Sean Tarry, top jockey Anton Marcus and an elated Pippa Mckleburgh, GM of Avontuur Estate.

Legal Eagle also won the Champion Older Male and the Champion Miler Awards.

mick_goss_champions_trophy_2_sa_travel_sacademy-summerhill

Mick Goss – a legend

It was great to see Mick Goss accept the Champion Breeder Award for Summerhill Stud’s tenth national championship title.

Looking well after his recent illness, Mick commanded the room with a moving acceptance speech.

He has few equals as a breeder and racing ambassador for South African horseracing – and no equals when it comes to public speaking!

HORSE OF THE YEAR

  • Legal Eagle

CHAMPION 2YO Colt

  • Always In Charge

CHAMPION 2YO Filly

  • Cloth Of Cloud

CHAMPION 3YO Colt

  • Marinaresco

CHAMPION 3YO Filly

  • Bela-Bela

CHAMPION Older Filly/Mare

  • Smart Call

CHAMPION Sprinter (1000-1200m)

  • Talktothestars

CHAMPION Miler (1400-1600m)

  • Legal Eagle

CHAMPION Middle Distance (1800-2200m)

  • Smart Call

CHAMPION Stayer (2400m)

  • Enaad (Aus)

CHAMPION Older Male

  • Legal Eagle

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT Award

Ormond Ferraris

Illuminator – Glen Puller, Frances Carruthers & Ian Robinson

Inara – Mike Bass, Gaynor Rupert, Ross Fuller & Kevin Sommerville

Abashiri – Mike Azzie & Adriaan and Rika Van Vuuren

Champion STALLION

Trippi

Champion BROODMARE

Our Table Mountain (dam of Cloth of Cloud & equus nominee Silver Mountain)

Champion BREEDER

Summerhill Stud

Outstanding BROODMARE

Young Sensation

Exceptional BROODMARE Achievement

Mystic Spring

Outstanding BREEDER Award

Lammerskraal Stud

MEDIA Award – Print

Charles Faull

Champion APPRENTICE

Callan Murray

Champion JOCKEY

S’manga Khumalo

Champion TRAINER

Sean Tarry

Champion OWNER

Ingrid & Markus Jooste – Mayfair Speculators Pty Ltd

More on the Equus Awards

The Sean Tarry-trained Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm Stud-bred Greys Inn gelding Legal Eagle won the most anticipated Equus Award, Horse Of The Year, at the glittering annual ceremony held at the Emperor’s Palace.

The awards all had deserving winners, but at the same time there were a number of the usual hard luck stories.

The three horses who could be considered desperately unlucky were Smart Call, Abashiri and Mystic Spring, who in any other year would likely have had their names up in lights.

Legal Eagle received the Horse Of The Year award, as well as Champion Older Male and Champion Miler awards, due to his three Gr1 victories. These included two weight for age Mile wins, in the L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate and the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, as well as a win in the Gr1 R4 million Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m.

However, the Mauritzfontein Stud-owned and bred Ideal World filly Smart Call put up one of the best performances ever seen on the South African turf when annihilating the opposition in the Gr 1 J&B Met by 3,5 lengths. Among the vanquished were Legal Eagle, whom she faced on weight for age terms. Her Met win followed a comfortable two lengths victory over the champion filly Inara in the Gr1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes over 1800m, a race in which another champion filly, Bela-Bela, finished third.

Smart Call was merit rated 121 after her J&B Met win, one point above Legal Eagle.

However, if anybody ever deserved to be on the right side of a contentious award it was Tarry, as he has had to swallow a few bitter pills in the past. Tarry received the Champion Trainer award for the second time in succession. He was the first to break the 200-winner barrier in a season, sending out 209 winners, and he also smashed the record for stakes earnings. He gave a thought provoking speech with one of his points quoting President Rooseveldt in which the message was to urge people of the racing fraternity to work hard in the arena rather than criticise from the side.

The Champion three-year-old male was another category which was difficult to call. The nominees included SA Triple Crown winner Abashiri and the horse who had captured the imagination of the South African racing public in the latter part of the season, Marinaresco. The panel sided with the Mauritzfontein Stud-bred Mike Bass-trained Silvano gelding Marinaresco. Marinaresco captured two legs of the Cape Winter series, before travelling to Durban and putting up an astonishing performance in the Vodacom Durban July, coming from 17 metres off the pace to run a close second. He later flew home to win the Gr1 Mike and Carol Bass Champions Cup cosily, despite having had his initial run blocked. Bass, who officially retired after a glittering career at the end of last season, received a standing ovation when joining the connections on stage to receive the award.

The Champion Broodmare went to the Highlands Farms Stud-based Our Table Mountain, dam of Gr1 winners during the season Silver Mountain and Cloth Of Cloud. She thoroughly deserved the award, but in any other year it could easily have gone to the amazing Cheveley Stud-based mare Mystic Spring, whose daughter Bela-Bela joined the like of Rabiya, Secret of Victoria, Spring Lilac, Rafiya  and Touch The Sky as stakes winners she has produced. Mystic Spring did receive a consolation Exceptional Broodmare award.

Smart Call’s consolation was to be named Equus Champion older female and Champion middle distance horse, while Abashiri received a Special Achievement award for landing the SA Triple Crown.

The Champion Two-year-old filly went to the unbeaten Sean Tarry-trained Highlands Farms Stud-bred Captain Al filly Cloth Of Cloud. Among her three wins was a victory against the boys in the Gr 1 SA Nursery.

The Champion two-year-old male looked clear cut and duly went to another horse by Captain Al, the Vaughan Marshall-trained Klawervlei Stud-bred colt Always In Charge, who won the hotly contested Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion over 1200m at Scottsville by three lengths.

The Champion three-year-old filly also looked clear cut and went to the Justin Snaith-trained Cheveley Stud-bred Dynasty filly Bela-Bela, who won the Gr 2 Daisy Fillies Guineas and the Gr 1 Woolavington 2000.

The Champion Sprinter went to the Coenie de Beer-trained Scott Brothers-bred Overlord gelding Talktothestars, who was merit rated 120 after winning the Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint. The award completed a fairytale for small string trainer De Beer, who also owns Talktothestars.

The Champion Stayer was hard to choose as Abashiri completed the Triple Crown when winning the Gr 1 SA Derby over 2450m, while Enaad won the country’s premier staying race, the eLan Property Group Gold Cup over 3200m, as well as the Gr 3 Gold Vase over 3000m. The Gold Cup winner is usually a shoe-in for the award and it once again swayed that way as the Mike de Kock-trained High Chaparral gelding Enaad, owned and bred by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, was awarded the trophy.

Special achievement awards also went to Ormond Ferraris, who saddled his 2500th winner during the season; the Glen Puller-trained CTS Million Dollar winner Illuminator (the award was accepted by owner Francis Carruthers and jockey Heavelon van der Hoven); the Mike Bass-trained filly Inara for winning three Gr 1s during the season all in different centres (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban).

The Champion Stallion award went to the Drakenstein Stud-based sire Trippi.

Summerhill Stud won the Champion Breeders award for the tenth time, regaining it from Klawervlei who had won it for the last two years. Summerhill owner Mick Goss was there to receive the award and delivered a typically rousing speech. The dam of Legal Eagle, Young Sensation, was acknowledged with an Outstanding Broodmare award.

Lammerskraal Stud received an Outstanding Breeder award as breeders of Abashiri. The Print Media award went to doyen Charles Faull chiefly for his Thoroughpedia project.

The Champion Apprentice award was received by Callan Murray. The Champion Jockey award was received for the second time by S’Manga Khumalo.

Markus and Ingrid Jooste were once again champions owner. In the season they won nine Gr 1s, including the elusive Vodacom Durban July.

www.goldcircle.co.zaEquus Awards 2016_CTS

 

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9 comments on “Equus Awards 2016

  1. pmb says:

    Nothing against Marineresco, I backed him I the July and the champion stakes, and he is possibly the most exciting of the bunch .
    However, getting the 3yo award over Abashiri ? Even Mike Bass sounded surprised.

  2. beatle says:

    I am surprised by the 3 yo colts award – thought Abashiri had that in the bag after winning the triple crown as that is the pinnacle of racing for a 3yo colt
    The owners title has become a bit yawn of late – like watching paint dry
    Thought Smart Call should have got horse of the year – beat Legal Eagle in reverse
    A big well done to C . De Beer for his achievement with Talktothestars
    In all the rest of the selections were correct (maybe a few arguments in some cases)

  3. Anton Marx says:

    In any other county if you win the triple crown the horse would automatically be the 3 year old of the year, I don’t think the panel have applied their minds and think it is shocking.

  4. hilton witz says:

    what more did smart call have to do to win horse of the year?she made legal eagle look second rate in the most prestigious middle distance race of the year at a neutral centre over 2000m and at the time of speaking is the highest rated middle distance horse to have raced here last season..really half of those who were asked to vote have very little creditation and it comes as no surprize to see a few gaffs

  5. RSFaux says:

    The “esteemed” panel showed complete contempt for the Merit Ratings applied by the NHA…….the merit of the triple crown was confirmed by the ratings (and the July and Champions cup will prove to be the weakest for years IMO)
    Abashiri and connections were never going to get the Gold Circle vote though….lol
    Subjectivity is far too prevalent in the industry!

  6. Harold says:

    When Louis the King won the Triple Crown, Legislate won the 3 year old colt of their year. And like Marinaresco he also crossed the line in 2nd.

  7. bob kistnasamy says:

    Legislate was also successful in a few graded races in Durban and Cape Town, including the July. my view is that the award was justified. and raced in both Durban and Cape Town.
    We should perhaps have trainers forming a panel to decide on racing awards.
    Lyle Hewitson did extremely well in his first season as an apprentice. Percentage wins to rides was far superior and he deserved the award. Remember that he started his apprenticeship much later and to be 5 short of the number of winners as compared to Murray is a superior achievement.
    The criteria for awards to trainers, owners, jockeys and apprentices need to be revisited. in my view, Khumalo is not a worthy winner of the jockey’s award.

  8. Jiggsy says:

    I agree with the awards need to be relooked for Jockeys, appies and trainers. Hewitson deserved young Appy of the year. great Appy

  9. Steve Reid says:

    The awarding of champion title to jockeys, apprentice jockeys, trainers, owners and breeders are clear cut and involves neither loud suits nor inflated ego. The winners of the various horse categories are totally based on opinion by the loud suits and inflated ego brigade and needs urgent change. Why is it that Gauteng form is deemed good enough in some categories and not in others? Clear manipulation in my opinion.

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