Robbie Power and Sizing John are both among the nominees
©Healy Racing Photos
The nominees for the 2017 annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards were announced today, with 28 Irish trainers, jockeys and horses in contention for one of six prestigious awards.
RTE sports broadcaster Des Cahill will be master of ceremonies for the awards, which take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on Tuesday, December 5th.
Awards are presented in seven categories: Horse of the Year, National Hunt Racing, Flat Racing, Point-to-Point Racing, Outstanding Achievement, Contribution to the Industry and Racecourse of the Year.
Four category winners are decided by a ballot of the Irish racing media — Horse of the Year, National Hunt, Flat and Point-to-Point.
Nominations for the Horse of the Year award include triple Gold Cup winner Sizing John, BoyleSports Irish Grand National winner Our Duke; Capri, the first horse since the legendary Nijinsky in 1970 to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh and the English St Leger in the same year; Winter, a four-time Group 1 winner in 2017; Highland Reel, Europe’s highest ever prize money winner and winner of two of the biggest Group 1 contests this year, the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot; and Un De Sceaux, successful in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham and Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival .
Trainers Jessica Harrington, Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead and jockeys Robbie Power and Ruby Walsh are nominated in the National Hunt category.
The Flat nominees are trainers Aidan O’Brien and Ger Lyons and jockeys Colin Keane, Seamie Heffernan and Oisin Orr.
The Point-to-Point category is made up of Jamie Codd, Liz Lalor, Barry O’Neill, Denis Murphy and Colin Bowe.
The winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award is voted on by the Irish racing media and the general public through the HRI website www.goracing.ie or through forms available from HRI.
The nominees in this category, selected by the Irish racing media, are trainers Joseph O’Brien, the youngest-ever trainer to win the world’s richest handicap, The Melbourne Cup, and Pat Kelly who achieved the notable feat of winning the hugely competitive Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for the second consecutive year with Presenting Percy, having won the race 12 months earlier with Mall Dini.
Jockeys Lisa O’Neill, Rachael Blackmore, Padraig Beggy and Jack Kennedy have also been nominated in this category.
The Contribution to the Industry Award will be announced by HRI Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh. This award is HRI’s recognition of an individual or entity whose overall work and achievements have made a lasting positive impression on racing and breeding in Ireland.
Previous winners include Des Scahill, Mick O’Toole, Jim Bolger, Moyglare Stud, Dermot Weld, Colm Murray, Michael Kinane and Mrs Maureen Mullins.
The Racecourse of the Year Award winner will be presented by a member of the Racegoers’ Consultative Forum. Previous winners include Leopardstown, Dundalk, Ballinrobe and Galway.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of HRI said: “2017 has been a most extraordinary year on the racetrack for Irish horses, from the spring of the year right through to this past week, and the Horse Racing Ireland Awards give us the opportunity to relive those tremendous achievements in the Irish racing industry, both at home and on the world stage. I would like to congratulate all the nominees and look forward to celebrating their achievements at Leopardstown on Tuesday, December 5.”
Full details on the awards including categories and nominees is available at www.goracing.ie A live stream of the awards will also be available on December 5th. Voting opens on Tuesday, November 14 at 9am for the Outstanding Achievement category.