She may be enjoying retirement but unbeaten mare Black Caviar has maintained her official status as the nation’s best equine with a three-peat sweep of the 2013 Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards.
She was tonight named both the Sky Racing World Australian Racehorse of the Year and Mitchelton Wines Champion Sprinter for the third year running at a national awards ceremony presented by Sky Racing World, TAB and Racing Victoria at Peninsula, Docklands in Melbourne.
Black Caviar joins another champion mare, dual Cox Plate winner Sunline, as the only horses to be crowned Australian Racehorse of the Year on three occasions, Sunline having done so in 2000-01-02.
Black Caviar, who stretched her unbeaten streak to 25 in the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April, won all three starts during the 2012-13 racing season, each at Group 1 level.
In a remarkable season, the six-year-old Peter Moody-trained mare returned in February from a seven month injury lay-off to claim her third consecutive win in a race now named in her honour, the Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), eclipsing Special’s 25-year-old track record in the process.
A typically dominant win in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley followed before the daughter of Bel Esprit farewelled Australian racing with her second win in the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April.
With votes lodged on a 3-2-1 basis by 98 members of the racing media and senior racing administrators nationwide, Black Caviar secured 251 of a maximum 294 votes in the Racehorse of the Year Award to defeat her younger half-brother All Too Hard (179), Ocean Park (50), Pierro (38) and It’s A Dundeel (28).
The night, which included the official 2013 Spring Racing Carnival Launch, was also one to remember for master trainer Bart Cummings whose 60 years as a trainer was celebrated with a moving presentation.
The Hall Of Fame Legend, who has recently entered into a training partnership with grandson James Cummings, was recognised with the naming of the Champion Group 1 Trainer title in his honour.
The ‘Cups King’ presented the inaugural Bart Cummings Award to the season’s most successful Group 1 trainer, Sydney’s Chris Waller, who captured nine Group 1 races during 2012-13.
The night also saw Hugh Bowman and Kerrin McEvoy jointly awarded the Champion Group 1 jockey award with the pair both successful in seven Group 1 races during the season.
In what turned out to be the most hotly contested award of the night, Cummings’ star filly Norzita was voted New Zealand Bloodstock Champion Three-Year-Old Filly.
The daughter of Thorn Park amassed 163 votes thanks to her wins in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), eclipsing VRC Oaks winner Dear Demi (139) and ATC Oaks winner Royal Descent (97).
All Too Hard was a popular winner of what was billed as the most intriguing award of the night, the VOBIS Gold Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding, collecting more votes than Pierro and It’s A Dundeel.
The Team Hawkes-trained colt, who received 264 votes, won four Group 1 races during the season, headlined by his BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) victory over previously unbeaten rival Pierro who finished second on 148 votes ahead of It’s A Dundeel (119).
The Monjon Australia Champion Middle Distance Award went the way of New Zealand hero Ocean Park for trainer Gary Hennessy.
A three-time Group 1 winner in Melbourne during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival culminating with victory in the Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m), Ocean Park was a runaway winner with 226 votes, ahead of All Too Hard (99) and It’s A Dundeel (87).
Pierro may not have won an award despite being a finalist for three but his trainer, Gai Waterhouse, had reason to smile after Golden Slipper winner Overreach was named the Eliza Park International Champion Two-Year-Old.
It was the second consecutive year Waterhouse has trained the nation’s premier juvenile after Pierro was crowned in 2012, with Golden Slipper winner Overreach (231 votes) the popular elect ahead of Darley-owned filly Guelph (181) and South Australian star Miracles Of Life (152).
Emirates Melbourne Cup hero Green Moon was named the TAB Champion Stayer for trainer Robert Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams, while Ciaron Maher-trained star Bashboy was crowned Australia’s Champion Jumper for the second year running.
The full list of award winners, including the voting breakdown for each category, is as follows;
Sky Racing World Australian Racehorse of the Year – BLACK CAVIAR
Black Caviar (251), All Too Hard (179), Ocean Park (50), Pierro (38), It’s A Dundeel (28), Green Moon (17), Fiveandahalfstar (5), Bashboy (4), Commanding Jewel (3), Alcopop (2), Black And Bent (2), Buffering (2), Dunaden (2), Miracles Of Life (2), Overreach (2), Guelph (1)
Eliza Park International Champion Two-Year-Old – OVERREACH
Overreach (231), Guelph (181), Miracles Of Life (152), Sidestep (6), Safeguard (5), Grand Tycoon (5), Real Surreal (3), Villa Verde (2), Romantic Touch (2), Zoustar (1)
New Zealand Bloodstock Champion Three-Year-Old Filly – NORZITA
Norzita (163), Dear Demi (139), Royal Descent (97), Nechita (58), Commanding Jewel (57), Snitzerland (49), Gondokoro (16), Maybe Discreet (8), Longport (1)
VOBIS Gold Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding – ALL TOO HARD
All Too Hard (264), Pierro (148), It’s A Dundeel (119), Fiveandahalfstar (30), Super Cool (17), Hawkspur (4), Epaulette (3), Ferlax (3)
Mitchelton Wines Champion Sprinter – BLACK CAVIAR
Black Caviar (290), All Too Hard (141), Pierro (37), Bel Sprinter (36), Epaulette (19), Barakey (12), Buffering (11), Ortensia (9), Overreach (7), Miracles Of Life (6), Linton (4), Mental (4), Platelet (4), Sea Siren (4), Shamexpress (3), Moment Of Change (1)
Monjon Australia Champion Middle Distance Award – OCEAN PARK
Ocean Park (226), All Too Hard (99), It’s A Dundeel (87), Super Cool (43), Pierro (34), Fiveandahalfstar (25), Appearance (15), Reliable Man (14), Alcopop (12), Shoot Out (10), Green Moon (10), Happy Trails (5), Fat Al (3), Foreteller (3), Beaten Up (1), Sacred Falls (1)
TAB Champion Stayer – GREEN MOON
Green Moon (246), Fiveandahalfstar (115), Dunaden (99), It’s A Dundeel (61), Puissance de Lune (32), Dear Demi (9), Glencadam Gold (5), Royal Descent (5), Fiorente (4), Norsqui (4), Mourayan (3), Bashboy (3), Hawkspur (2)
Champion Jumper – BASHBOY
Bashboy (133), Black And Bent (68), Banna Strand (26), Maythehorsebemagic (21), Gotta Take Care (11), Kirribilli Gold (5), Man Of Class (4), Wells (4), Cats Fun (2), Dubhdara (1), Westsouthwest (1)
Champion Sire – Exceed And Excel
Bart Cummings Award – Chris Waller
Champion Group 1 Jockey Award – Hugh Bowman & Kerrin McEvoy