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Military Attack crowned Horse of the Year in outstanding season for Hong Kong racing

07/07/2013

Military Attack gained reward for a brilliant rise to the top when crowned Horse of the Year for the 2012/13 season at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards presentation ceremony at Sha Tin racecourse today (July 7). The John Moore-trained five-year-old also took the Champion Middle-distance Horse title and received the public vote as Most Popular Horse of the Year (38 per cent).

With the battle for the trainer’s premiership to be decided at the season’s remaining fixture at Happy Valley on Wednesday 10 July, jockey Douglas Whyte took the plaudits for his phenomenal achievement in being crowned champion jockey for a 13th consecutive season. The South African saw off stiff competition from runner-up Zac Purton and drew clear in the final weeks of the campaign to register 100 wins, 13 clear of his main rival after today’s meeting. Whyte was also named Most Popular Jockey after he garnered 44 per cent of the public vote.

Dicky Lui took the Willy Kan Memorial Cup as Champion Apprentice Jockey with 23 wins to date as his nearest rival Alvin Ng (19 wins) would need four wins from the remaining nine races of 2012/13, to be staged at Happy Valley.

Military Attack’s outstanding season included two Group 1 victories in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup and the Singapore Airlines International Cup. The latter triumph was the first by a Hong Kong horse in Singapore’s flagship contest and marked the first overseas G1 win for the five-year-old’s veteran trainer.

In the course of the season, the Oratorio gelding notched five wins, starting with the January Cup (HKG3-1800m) at Happy Valley in January off a rating of 111, and after claiming the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup (HKG1-2000m) and Premier Plate (HKG3-1800m) en route to his G1 triumphs he ended 2012/13 on a Hong Kong rating of 132 and 124 in the World Thoroughbred Rankings.

The Tony Millard-trained Ambitious Dragon, Horse of the Year for the previous two seasons, was named Champion Miler. The exceptional six-year-old was defeated three times in the season but was sensational when winning each of his other three starts to also earn a 124 mark in the WTR. After starting the campaign with a win in the Sha Tin Trophy (HKG2-1600m), he saw off an international field to win the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and was brilliant too in winning the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (HKG1-1400m).

Another popular Hong Kong hero stood out as Champion Stayer. California Memory clinched that title after a commanding win in the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (HKG1-2400m), which represented his first attempt beyond 2000m. Tony Cruz’s popular grey had earlier in the season made history as the first horse to win the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) back-to-back and prevailed in the LONGINES Jockey Club Cup (G2-2000m) for good measure.

Lucky Nine’s emphatic win in the G1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) in Singapore enhanced his wins at home in the Jockey Club Sprint (G2-1200m) and Chairman’s Sprint Prize (HKG1-1200m), and ensured Caspar Fownes’ stable star was awarded the Champion Sprinter crown.

The Dennis Yip-trained All You Wish took the Champion Griffin award. The New Zealand-bred three-year-old won five of six starts at 1200m and 1400m, and was never out of the first two. His final start of the season saw him win the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association 35th Anniversary Trophy (Handicap) at Sha Tin’s finale.

For the second season in a row, the accolade of Most Admired Overseas Horse went to Australia’s wonder mare Black Caviar with 58,446 (42 per cent) votes from race fans. The brilliant daughter of Bel Esprit reeled off a hat-trick of impressive G1 wins from February to April to end her career unbeaten in 25 starts.

Meanwhile, the 2011/2012 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus of HK$1 million went to the Tony Cruz-trained Bullish Friend. The gelding accumulated stakes money of HK$4,154,500 from his 13 starts with six wins, one second and one third to date.

Most Improved Horse of the Year and Champion Trainer will be awarded at Happy Valley’s season finale on Wednesday, 10 July.

The Judging Panel announced the Champion Awards winners for the 2012/13 season during the final Sha Tin race meeting of the season as follows:- 

Award

Winner

Owner

Trainer

Horse of the Year

Military Attack

Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing

John Moore

Most Popular Horse of the Year

Military Attack

Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing

John Moore

Champion Sprinter

Lucky Nine

Dr Chang Fuk To & Chang Lee Ming Shum

Caspar Fownes

Champion Miler

Ambitious Dragon

Johnson Lam Pui Hung & Anderson Lam Hin Yue

Anthony Millard

Champion Middle-distance Horse

Military Attack

Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing

John Moore

Champion Stayer

California Memory

Howard Liang Yum Shing

Anthony Cruz

Champion Griffin

All You Wish

Carmen Chan Wing Yee & Chan Fut Yan

Dennis Yip

Most Improved Horse

(To be confirmed)

 

 

2011/2012 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus

Bullish Friend

Wong Wing Keung

Anthony Cruz

 

Champion Trainer

(To be confirmed)

Champion Jockey

Douglas Whyte

Champion Apprentice Jockey

Dicky Lui

Most Popular Jockey of the Year

Douglas Whyte

         

Between 7 June and 21 June, members of the public cast a total of 424,030 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

Military Attack (53,986 votes)

Douglas Whyte (63,058 votes)

Black Caviar (AUS) (58,446 votes)

2

California Memory (21,686 votes)

Zac Purton

(34,287 votes)

Lord Kanaloa (JPN) (36,059 votes)

3

Ambitious Dragon (20,865 votes)

Matthew Chadwick (16,253 votes)

Red Cadeaux (GB) (9,670 votes)

Total Votes

142,330 votes

141,965 votes

139,735 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

Photo 1ĦB2<br>
The Hon Martin C K Liao, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents a HK$1 million cheque to Mr Wong Wing Keung, Owner of 2011/2012 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus winner Bullish Friend.  Mr WongĦĤs wife and daughter join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.
Photo 1:
Photo 1ĦB2
The Hon Martin C K Liao, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents a HK$1 million cheque to Mr Wong Wing Keung, Owner of 2011/2012 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus winner Bullish Friend. Mr WongĦĤs wife and daughter join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.


Photo 2

Photo 3ĦB4<br>
Mr Cheung Ki, Vice President of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists, presents the trophy to Ms Carmen Chan Wing Yee & Mr Chan Fut Yan, Owners of Champion Griffin All You Wish.  Trainer Dennis Yip and the connections of All You Wish join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.
Photo 3:
Photo 3ĦB4
Mr Cheung Ki, Vice President of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists, presents the trophy to Ms Carmen Chan Wing Yee & Mr Chan Fut Yan, Owners of Champion Griffin All You Wish. Trainer Dennis Yip and the connections of All You Wish join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.


Photo 4

Photo 5ĦB6<br>
Dr Eric Li Ka Cheung, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Howard Liang Yum Shing, Owner of Champion Stayer California Memory.  Connections of California Memory join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.
Photo 5:
Photo 5ĦB6
Dr Eric Li Ka Cheung, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Howard Liang Yum Shing, Owner of Champion Stayer California Memory. Connections of California Memory join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.


Photo 6

Photo 7ĦB8<br>
Dr Rita Fan Hsu Lai Tai, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Dr Chang Fuk To & Mrs Maria Chang Lee Ming Shum, Owners of Champion Sprinter Lucky Nine.  Trainer Caspar Fownes joins for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.
Photo 7:
Photo 7ĦB8
Dr Rita Fan Hsu Lai Tai, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Dr Chang Fuk To & Mrs Maria Chang Lee Ming Shum, Owners of Champion Sprinter Lucky Nine. Trainer Caspar Fownes joins for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.


Photo 8

Photo 9ĦB10<br>
Mr Stephen Ip Shu Kwan, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Johnson Lam Pui Hung and Mr Anderson Lam Hin Yue, Owners of Champion Miler Ambitious Dragon.  Trainer Anthony Millard joins for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.
Photo 9:
Photo 9ĦB10
Mr Stephen Ip Shu Kwan, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Johnson Lam Pui Hung and Mr Anderson Lam Hin Yue, Owners of Champion Miler Ambitious Dragon. Trainer Anthony Millard joins for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.


Photo 10

Photo 11ĦB12<br>
Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing, Owners of Champion Middle-Distance Horse Military Attack.
Photo 11:
Photo 11ĦB12
Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing, Owners of Champion Middle-Distance Horse Military Attack.


Photo 12

Douglas Whyte, voted the Most Popular Jockey of the Year, receives the trophy from Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Photo 13:
Douglas Whyte, voted the Most Popular Jockey of the Year, receives the trophy from Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Military Attack is elected the Most Popular Horse of the Year.  Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to owners Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing.
Photo 14:
Military Attack is elected the Most Popular Horse of the Year. Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to owners Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing.

Mr Anthony W K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the Willy Kan Memorial Cup to Dicky Lui, Champion Apprentice Jockey of the 2012/13 racing season.
Photo 15:
Mr Anthony W K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the Willy Kan Memorial Cup to Dicky Lui, Champion Apprentice Jockey of the 2012/13 racing season.

Dr Simon S O Ip, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the winning trophy to Douglas Whyte, Champion Jockey of the 2012/13 racing season.
Photo 16:
Dr Simon S O Ip, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the winning trophy to Douglas Whyte, Champion Jockey of the 2012/13 racing season.

Military Attack is crowned Horse of the Year.  Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, officiates at the trophy presentation to Owners Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing.
Photo 17:
Military Attack is crowned Horse of the Year. Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, officiates at the trophy presentation to Owners Mr & Mrs Steven Lo Kit Sing.

HKJC Stewards, CEO, Champion Jockey, Champion Apprentice Jockey and Owners of the Champion Awards winning horses celebrate an excellent season in 2012/13.
Photo 18:
HKJC Stewards, CEO, Champion Jockey, Champion Apprentice Jockey and Owners of the Champion Awards winning horses celebrate an excellent season in 2012/13.

Champion Jockey Douglas Whyte and Champion Apprentice Jockey Dicky Lui celebrate their success with champagne on stage.
Photo 19:
Champion Jockey Douglas Whyte and Champion Apprentice Jockey Dicky Lui celebrate their success with champagne on stage.

 

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