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Designs On Rome crowned Horse of the Year at Hong Kongˇ¦s Champion Awards

04/07/2014

Designs On Rome scooped the Hong Kong Horse of the Year award at a glittering ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt this evening (4 July). The HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby and G1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup victor was also named Champion Middle-Distance Horse and secured 32% of the public vote to claim the Most Popular Horse title.

Trainer John Moore’s brilliant charge became only the third Hong Kong Derby winner to go on and win the APQEII Cup in the same season when he saw off stellar overseas competition to claim the 2000m showcase at the end of April. That win, by a neck from last year’s Horse of the Year Military Attack, earned Designs On Rome an international rating of 123 that places him equal sixth in the latest LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.  

Designs On Rome won two legs of the season’s Hong Kong Four-Year-Old Series. After running on strongly to finish second to his talented stablemate Able Friend in the first leg, the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile, the Holy Roman Emperor gelding brushed aside that rival to win both the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) and the BMW Hong Kong Derby under Tommy Berry.

The Champion Awards, held in the Grand Hyatt’s Grand Ballroom and broadcast live via Hong Kong’s NowTV, marked a new format for the unveiling of Hong Kong’s end-of-season champions. In recent times the winners had been revealed at intervals throughout the duration of the season’s final race meeting.

The Caspar Fownes-trained Lucky Nine was crowed Champion Sprinter in recognition of his back-to-back wins in both the HKG1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) and Singapore’s G1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m).

The Champion Stayer title went to the Moore-trained Dominant, primarily due to his storming run in December’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) that saw off the outstanding British mare The Fugue.

Gold-Fun, trained by Richard Gibson, was awarded the Champion Miler title thanks to a series of sterling efforts that included wins in the G2 Jockey Club Mile and the HKG1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), as well as second place in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.

Bullish Smart, a three-year-old Soldier Hollow gelding, was unveiled as the season’s Champion Griffin. The Tony Cruz-trained Hong Kong International Sale graduate has won three times and placed twice from five starts since his debut in March.

Divine Ten was recognised as the season’s Most Improved Horse. The Me Tsui-trained HKG3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (1000m) winner rose 59 points to the end campaign on a mark of 111.

Brazilian sensation Joao Moreira emerged as the people’s choice for Most Popular Jockey, accruing 43% of the vote from the enthusiastic Hong Kong racing fans.
The season’s Champion Trainer, Champion Jockey and Champion Apprentice awards will be presented at Sunday’s Sha Tin season finale.

The public also voted to decide the Most Admired Overseas Horse and that accolade went to Lord Kanaloa. The outstanding Japanese sprinter proved his greatness with a second consecutive victory in December’s LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), a performance that saw him power five lengths clear of a world class field.

Pleasure Gains carried off the Hong Kong International Sale bonus to cap a fine season. Trainer Manfred Man saddled the Hong Kong International Sale graduate to four wins and a third place in the HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m). 

The Judging Panel announced the Champion Awards winners for the 2013/14 season during the presentation ceremony held this evening as follows:-

Award

Winner

Owner

Trainer

Horse of the Year

Designs On Rome

Cheng Keung Fai

John Moore

Most Popular Horse of the Year

Designs On Rome

Cheng Keung Fai

John Moore

Champion Sprinter

Lucky Nine

Dr Chang Fuk To & Chang Lee Ming Shum

Caspar Fownes

Champion Miler

Gold-Fun

Pan Sutong

Richard Gibson

Champion Middle-Distance Horse

Designs On Rome

Cheng Keung Fai

John Moore

Champion Stayer

Dominant

10/11 John Moore Trainer Syndicate

John Moore

Champion Griffin

Bullish Smart

Wong Wing Keung

Anthony Cruz

Most Improved Horse

Divine Ten

Wong Kwong Miu

Me Tsui

2012/2013 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus (HK$2 million)

Pleasure Gains

Mr & Mrs Michael C C Kao and Vivian Kao

Manfred Man

 

Between 4 June and 22 June, members of the public cast their 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

Designs On Rome (23,292 votes)

Joao Moreira
(31,850 votes)

Lord Kanaloa  (24,057 votes)

2

Able Friend
(10,544 votes)

Zac Purton
(19,064 votes)

Just A Way
(10,134 votes)

3

Lucky Nine
(9,483 votes)

Douglas Whyte (11,403 votes)

African Story
(8,944 votes)

Total Votes

73,767 votes

74,287 votes

72,892 votes

 

The Champion Awards are decided by a Judging Panel made up of three members each from The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists (AHKRJ).

The HKJC votes are made by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Executive Director of Racing, Mr William A Nader and Head of Handicapping and Race Planning, Mr Nigel C Gray.

The three members from the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists are Vice-Chairmen Mr Carlos Wu and Mr Timothy Wong, and Committee Member Mr Wong Tang Ping, whose opinions reflect the results of voting made by AHKRJ members.

Attachment: Past Winners of Champion Awards

Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, delivers a welcome speech at the 2013/14 Champion Awards presentation ceremony.
Photo 1:
Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, delivers a welcome speech at the 2013/14 Champion Awards presentation ceremony.

Officiating guests toast the success of the Champion Awards presentation ceremony for the 2013/14 racing season.  From left: <br>
Mr Carlos Wu, Vice Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists<br>The Hon Sir C K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>Dr Simon S O Ip, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club <br>Mr Anthony W K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>Mr Charles Chan, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association
Photo 2:
Officiating guests toast the success of the Champion Awards presentation ceremony for the 2013/14 racing season. From left:
Mr Carlos Wu, Vice Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists
The Hon Sir C K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Dr Simon S O Ip, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Anthony W K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Charles Chan, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association

Mr William A Nader, Executive Director, Racing of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents a HK$2 million cheque to Mr Michael CC Kao, owner of 2012/2013 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus winner Pleasure Gains.
Photo 3:
Mr William A Nader, Executive Director, Racing of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents a HK$2 million cheque to Mr Michael CC Kao, owner of 2012/2013 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus winner Pleasure Gains.

Mr Charles Chan, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association, presents the trophy to the owner representative of Most Improved Horse Divine Ten.
Photo 4:
Mr Charles Chan, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association, presents the trophy to the owner representative of Most Improved Horse Divine Ten.

Mr Carlos Wu, Vice Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists, presents the trophy to Mr & Mrs Wong Wing Keung, owner of Champion Griffin Bullish Smart.
Photo 5:
Mr Carlos Wu, Vice Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists, presents the trophy to Mr & Mrs Wong Wing Keung, owner of Champion Griffin Bullish Smart.

Celebrity owner Michelle Reis joins tonightˇ¦s presentation ceremony to witness the crowning of the equine heroes from the 2013/14 racing season.
Photo 6:
Celebrity owner Michelle Reis joins tonightˇ¦s presentation ceremony to witness the crowning of the equine heroes from the 2013/14 racing season.

Joao Moreira, voted the Most Popular Jockey of the Year, receives the trophy from Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Photo 7:
Joao Moreira, voted the Most Popular Jockey of the Year, receives the trophy from Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Designs On Rome is voted the Most Popular Horse of the Year.  The Hon Sir C K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the owner representative.
Photo 8:
Designs On Rome is voted the Most Popular Horse of the Year. The Hon Sir C K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the owner representative.

Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the representatives of the 10/11 John Moore Trainer Syndicate, owner of Champion Stayer Dominant.
Photo 9:
Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the representatives of the 10/11 John Moore Trainer Syndicate, owner of Champion Stayer Dominant.

Photos 10, 11: Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Dr Chang Fuk To & Maria Chang Lee Ming Shum, owners of Champion Sprinter Lucky Nine.  Trainer Caspar Fownes and Mrs Alix Fownes and the connections join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.
Photo 10:
Photos 10, 11: Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Dr Chang Fuk To & Maria Chang Lee Ming Shum, owners of Champion Sprinter Lucky Nine. Trainer Caspar Fownes and Mrs Alix Fownes and the connections join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.


Photo 11

Mr Anthony W K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Pan Sutong, owner of Champion Miler Gold-Fun.
Photo 12:
Mr Anthony W K Chow, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Pan Sutong, owner of Champion Miler Gold-Fun.

Dr Simon S O Ip, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the owner representative of Champion Middle-Distance Horse Designs On Rome.
Photo 13:
Dr Simon S O Ip, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the owner representative of Champion Middle-Distance Horse Designs On Rome.

Photos 14, 15: DESIGNS ON ROME is crowned Horse of the Year. Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the owner representative Mr Carlson Cheng. 
Jockey Tommy Berry, trainer John Moore and his son George join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.
Photo 14:
Photos 14, 15: DESIGNS ON ROME is crowned Horse of the Year. Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to the owner representative Mr Carlson Cheng. Jockey Tommy Berry, trainer John Moore and his son George join for a group photo after the presentation ceremony.


Photo 15

All presenters and award winners at the 2013/14 Champion Awards join for a group photo.
Photo 16:
All presenters and award winners at the 2013/14 Champion Awards join for a group photo.

 

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