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Werther named Horse of the Year at Hong Kong��s Champion Awards

08/07/2016

Werther claimed the Hong Kong Horse of the Year award at a sparkling ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt tonight, Friday 8 July. Hong Kong’s standout four-year-old followed-up a thrilling victory in this year’s BMW Hong Kong Derby with a stunning wide-margin triumph over elite international opponents in the G1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, both at Sha Tin this spring.

John Moore’s stable star ended his debut Hong Kong campaign with a record of three wins from six starts. The gelding, who races in the yellow and blue silks of owner Johnson Chen, ranks equal fourth in the latest edition of the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings with a rating of 124. That figure is thanks to the son of Tavistock’s imperious four and a half-length AP QEII Cup win, in which he defeated star gallopers from Japan, Ireland, Australia and South Africa, as well as Hong Kong. 

A close second to Sun Jewellery in the first two legs of the 2016 4YO Classic Series, the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile and HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), Werther came into his own when stepped up in distance to 2000m for his Derby and AP QEII Cup wins. The New Zealand-bred is the fourth horse to have achieved the Derby/QEII double in the same year and those triumphs also clinched this season’s Champion Middle-Distance Horse award, while the public voted him the season’s Most Popular Horse with 39.3% of the vote.

“This is awesome. I can't believe it. I have to say I'm very fortunate. I'm very humbled and most privileged to be receiving this. Special thanks to trainer John Moore for his spearheading the team and engaging Hugh Bowman who rode beautifully for the BMW Hong Kong Derby and Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup,” said Chen.

Sun Jewellery was named the season’s Champion Miler. The John Size-trained four-year-old won four of his six starts, and, following his Classic Mile and Classic Cup triumphs, signed off for the term with a smart win against older rivals in the HKG3 Premier Cup (Handicap).

The Champion Sprinter award went to the Tony Cruz-trained Peniaphobia. The speedster made all under Joao Moreira to win the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint in December and enhanced his reputation with a fine third in Dubai’s G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m). The five-year-old rounded off his season with a classy success in the HKG3 Sha Tin Vase (Handicap).

Blazing Speed claimed the Champion Stayer award. The Tony Cruz-trained stalwart won the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup, one of only three mile-and-a-half races staged in Hong Kong, to seal the title.

Mr Stunning, a three-year-old from the Size stable, lived up to his name with three eye-catching wins from only four starts this season and claimed the Champion Griffin award.

Fabulous One received recognition as the season’s Most Improved Horse. The Chris So-trained four-year-old started the campaign on a rating of 46 but five wins from eight starts saw him rocket 61 points up the rankings to end the term on a mark of 107.

The season’s Champion Trainer and Champion Jockey awards, as well as the inaugural Tony Cruz Award given to the best homegrown rider, will be presented at Sunday’s (10 July) season finale at Sha Tin. The season’s Most Popular Jockey will also be revealed during racing on Sunday.

Apprentice Kei Chiong, the first female jockey to be licensed in Hong Kong since Carol Yu retired in 2000, is in pole position for the inaugural “Tony Cruz Award” ahead of Derek Leung and is also in the running for the Most Popular Jockey vote.

Joao Moreira has sealed the Champion Jockey Award for a second time thanks to an all-time record haul of  wins (163 with only Sunday’s finale remaining), while trainer John Size will on Sunday be officially crowned Hong Kong’s Champion Trainer, for an eighth time.

The Champion Awards Judging Panel announced the winners for the 2015/16 season during this evening’s presentation ceremony as follows:-

Award

Winner

Owner

Trainer

Horse of the Year

Werther

Johnson Chen

John Moore

Most Popular Horse of the Year

Werther

Johnson Chen

John Moore

Champion Sprinter

Peniaphobia

Huang Kai Wen

Tony Cruz

Champion Miler

Sun Jewellery

Tung Moon Fai

John Size

Champion Middle-Distance Horse

Werther

Johnson Chen

John Moore

Champion Stayer

Blazing Speed

Fentons Racing Syndicate

Tony Cruz

Champion Griffin

Mr Stunning

Maurice Koo Win Chong

John Size

Most Improved Horse

Fabulous One

Fabulous Horse Syndicate

Chris So

Past Winners of Champion Awards

Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, delivers a welcome speech at the 2015/16 Champion Awards presentation ceremony.
Photo 1:
Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, delivers a welcome speech at the 2015/16 Champion Awards presentation ceremony.

Officiating guests toast to kick off the Champion Awards presentation ceremony for the 2015/16 racing season. From left: <br>
Mr Franklin To, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association <br>
Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>
Mrs Margaret Leung, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>
Dr Eric K C Li, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>
Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>
Mr Anthony W K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club<br>
Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club 
Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Silas S S Yang, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Carlos Wu, Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists
Photo 2:
Officiating guests toast to kick off the Champion Awards presentation ceremony for the 2015/16 racing season. From left:
Mr Franklin To, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association
Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mrs Margaret Leung, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Dr Eric K C Li, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Mr Anthony W K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr Silas S S Yang, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr Carlos Wu, Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists

Mr Franklin To, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association, presents the trophy to Fabulous Horse Syndicate member Dr Stephen So, owner of Most Improved Horse Fabulous One, accompanied by trainer Chris So.
Photo 3:
Mr Franklin To, President of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association, presents the trophy to Fabulous Horse Syndicate member Dr Stephen So, owner of Most Improved Horse Fabulous One, accompanied by trainer Chris So.

Mr Carlos Wu, Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists, presents the trophy to trainer John Size, on behalf of Maurice Koo Win Cheng, owner of Champion Griffin Mr Stunning.
Photo 4:
Mr Carlos Wu, Chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists, presents the trophy to trainer John Size, on behalf of Maurice Koo Win Cheng, owner of Champion Griffin Mr Stunning.

Werther is voted the Most Popular Horse of the Year. Mrs Margaret Leung, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Johnson Chen, owner of Werther.
Photo 5:
Werther is voted the Most Popular Horse of the Year. Mrs Margaret Leung, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Johnson Chen, owner of Werther.

Photo 6, 7<br>
Leading local riders Derek Leung and Kei Chiong, contenders for the inaugural Tony Cruz Award, share their aspirations ahead of Sunday��s season finale meeting. Derek Leung and Kei Chiong pose with Tony Cruz.
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Photo 6:
Photo 6, 7
Leading local riders Derek Leung and Kei Chiong, contenders for the inaugural Tony Cruz Award, share their aspirations ahead of Sunday��s season finale meeting. Derek Leung and Kei Chiong pose with Tony Cruz. nt>


Photo 7

Dr Eric K C Li, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Fentons Racing Syndicate member Stephen Chu, owner of Champion Stayer Blazing Speed.
Photo 8:
Dr Eric K C Li, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Fentons Racing Syndicate member Stephen Chu, owner of Champion Stayer Blazing Speed.

Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Huang Kai Wen, owner of Champion Sprinter Peniaphobia.
Photo 9:
Mr Philip N L Chen, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Huang Kai Wen, owner of Champion Sprinter Peniaphobia.

Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Tung Moon Fai, owner of Champion Miler Sun Jewellery, accompanied by trainer John Size.
Photo 10:
Mr Lester C H Kwok, Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Tung Moon Fai, owner of Champion Miler Sun Jewellery, accompanied by trainer John Size.

Mr Anthony W K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Johnson Chen, owner of Champion Middle-Distance Horse Werther.
Photo 11:
Mr Anthony W K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Johnson Chen, owner of Champion Middle-Distance Horse Werther.

Photo 12, 13<br>
Werther is crowned Horse of the Year. Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Johnson Chen, owner of Werther. Werther is also winner of ��Champion Middle-Distance Horse�� and voted ��Most Popular Horse of the Year��. Mr Chen poses with all three Champion Award trophies accompanied by Mr and Mrs John Moore.
rporate.hkjc.com/image/201607/20160708news_pl_0205-W180.jpg
Photo 12:
Photo 12, 13
Werther is crowned Horse of the Year. Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Mr Johnson Chen, owner of Werther. Werther is also winner of ��Champion Middle-Distance Horse�� and voted ��Most Popular Horse of the Year��. Mr Chen poses with all three Champion Award trophies accompanied by Mr and Mrs John Moore.


Photo 13

All presenters and award winners at the 2015/16 Champion Awards join for a group photo.
Photo 14:
All presenters and award winners at the 2015/16 Champion Awards join for a group photo.

The scholars of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund, Gigi Ip, Eric Yip and Brian Chan give a fabulous trio music performance.
Photo 15:
The scholars of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund, Gigi Ip, Eric Yip and Brian Chan give a fabulous trio music performance.

 

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