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Ambitious Dragon crowned Horse of the Year for the second year in a row

15/07/2012

Ambitious Dragon repeated his success of 12 months ago when he was crowned Horse of the Year for the 2011/2012 season at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards presentation ceremony today (15 July). After as fierce a competition as has ever been seen for the Hong Kong racehorse’s premierships, the five-year-old son of Pins also claimed, for the second successive year, the title of Champion Middle-distance Horse and added the Champion Miler title.

The Tony Millard-trained Ambitious Dragon’s major achievements this season included successes in the first and second legs of the Triple Crown series – the Stewards’ Cup (HK G1-1600M) and the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup (HK G1-2000M).

The Danny Shum-trained Little Bridge, Hong Kong’s hero in the G1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in England in June, was voted Most Popular Horse of the Year by members of the public. In addition, the five-year-old gelding claimed the title of Champion Sprinter. 

The Champion Stayer title went to the David Ferraris-trained Liberator. The four-year-old son of Encosta de Lago defeated Ambitious Dragon to win the Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup (HK G1-2400M), the final leg of the Triple Crown.

The unbeaten Amber Sky from the Ricky Yiu Stable was chosen as Champion Griffin. The Australian-bred two-year-old son of Exceed And Excel won each of his three start this season, all of them on the Sha Tin straight course. He was a very easy winner of his first and second griffin outings before landing the Gallop Handicap, a Class Three competition.

The John Size-trained Glorious Days, another rising four-year-old star, became the Most Improved Horse with the greatest rating increase of 57 points in the season. The gelded son of Hussonet snatched four wins and three seconds in his seven starts in his first racing season in Hong Kong. The only race during the season in which he was out of the first two was the Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo racecourse, his first overseas attempt, on 3 June.

Another unbeaten champion, the sprint demon Black Caviar, was elected the Most Admired Overseas Horse of the Year with 88,049 votes from members of the public.

Meanwhile, the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Cai Bao In claimed the 2011 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus of HK$1m by accumulating stakes money of HK$3,441,750 from his nine starts (three wins, two seconds and one third) to date.

The recently-retired Sacred Kingdom, top sprinter (turf) in the world between 2007 and 2009, and Able One, winner of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (G1-1600M) last December, were honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards in recognition of their great contribution to Hong Kong as well as international racing.

John Size won the Champion Trainer title for a seventh time with 70 wins.

On the horseman side, Douglas Whyte collected the jockeys' premiership for the twelfth consecutive year with 107 wins. He was also elected Most Popular Jockey of the Year for the seventh time with 94,163 votes.

Ben So became the Champion Apprentice Jockey with 22 wins.

The Judging Panel announced the Champion Awards winners for the 2011/2012 season during the final race meeting of the season at Sha Tin racecourse as follows:-

Award

Winner

Owner

Trainer

Horse of the Year

Ambitious Dragon

Johnson Lam Pui Hung & Anderson Lam Hin Yue

Anthony Millard

Most Popular Horse of the Year

Little Bridge

Ko Kam Pui

Danny Shum

Champion Sprinter

Little Bridge

Ko Kam Pui

Danny Shum

Champion Miler

Ambitious Dragon

Johnson Lam Pui Hung & Anderson Lam Hin Yue

Anthony Millard

Champion Middle-distance Horse

Ambitious Dragon

Johnson Lam Pui Hung & Anderson Lam Hin Yue

Anthony Millard

Champion Stayer

Liberator

06/07 David Ferraris Trainer Syndicate

David Ferraris

Champion Griffin

Amber Sky

Hung Kam Po

Ricky Yiu

Most Improved Horse

Glorious Days

Tom Brown's Syndicate

John Size

2011 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus

Cai Bao In

Mr and Mrs Johnny Shih Jar Yi

Paul O’Sullivan

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sacred Kingdom

Sin Kang Yuk

Ricky Yiu

Lifetime Achievement Award

Able One

Dr and Mrs Cornel Li Fook Kwan

John Moore

 

Champion Trainer

John Size

Champion Jockey

Douglas Whyte

Champion Apprentice Jockey

Ben So

Most Popular Jockey of the Year

Douglas Whyte

Between 21 June and 6 July, members of the public cast a total of 500,768 votes to elect the Most Popular Horse, Most Popular Jockey and Most Admired Overseas Horse of the Year. The top three with most votes in each category are as follows:

Order by number of votes received

Most Popular Horse

Most Popular Jockey

 

Most Admired Overseas Horse

1

Little Bridge

(65,276 votes)

Douglas Whyte

(94,163 votes)

Black Caviar

(88,049 votes)

2

Ambitious Dragon

(29,184 votes)

Brett Prebble

(17,247 votes)

Frankel

(27,520 votes)

3

Lucky Nine

(18,125 votes)

Matthew Chadwick

(13,385 votes)

Camelot

(8,151 votes)

Total Votes

168,810 votes

166,074 votes

165,884 votes

To recognise excellence in Hong Kong racing, the Champion Awards are organised by The Hong Kong Jockey Club in partnership with the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists as co-organiser and the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association as honorary advisor.

Attachment: Past Winners of Champion Awards

 

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