Friday, 17 February 2012
: Champion sprinter Rocket Man was named Singapore's Horse of the Year at a glittering function at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Thursday's night.
| Rocket Man|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
's title was one of 16 awards presented to mark the 2011 racing season and to honour Singapore's Champions of the Turf.
The media – both English and Chinese – and members of the Singapore Turf Club Handicapping Department cast their votes on nine of the 16 categories.
Rocket Man was an overwhelming winner of the Horse of the Year award for his deeds in giving Singapore an International Group 1 victory when successful in the Golden Shaheen (1200m) in Dubai last March before overturning his two second placings in the KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) with victory in May.
He also added a third Group 1 Lion City Cup to his ever growing list of wins which now stands at 16 at Kranji. In fact the six-year-old is yet to taste defeat in a domestic race against local opposition.
The Patrick Shaw-trained sprinter was also named Champion Older Horse and for the second consecutive year – Champion Sprinter.
Also claiming honours for a second consecutive year were Better Than Ever
and Gingerbread Man
Better Than Ever, who won his first 12 starts, claimed the 2010 Group 1 Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Visit Indonesia Raffles Cup (1800m) as a part of his four-year-old year to claim Four-Year-Old honours whilst his successes in the 2011 Kranji Mile, the Group 3 Three Rings Trophy (1400m) and the Group 3 Polytrack Mile Championship (1600m) along with second placings in the Group 2 Stewards' Cup (1400m) and Group 1 Patron's Bowl (1600m) saw him awarded Champion Miler.
After winning the Two-Year-Old title in 2010, Gingerbread Man was named the Champion Three-Year-Old after taking out the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge last year, following in the footsteps of Better Than Ever 12 months prior.Mr Big
attained Champion Two-Year-Old honours on the strength of three victories from three visits to the racetrack which saw him claim the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) and the Group 3 Magic Millions Juvenile Championship (1200m).
The Champion Stayer was keenly contested and went to El Dorado
on the strength of his third win in Singapore's premier staying event – the Longines Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) – while along the way also picking up the Yew Tee Classic Stakes over 1800m.
The most open category was the Champion Polytrack Horse which went the way of Dr Grigoros
who was successful at five of his six starts on the synthetic surface.
A new award this year was the Most Improved Horse – for the horse which made the highest ratings leap through the year – which went to Ato
who progressed from a rating of 54 to 97 and saw him successful in the Group 3 Woodlands Handicap (1200m).
Also honoured on Thursday night were last season's leading trainer Patrick Shaw, owner Fred Crabbia, jockey Joao Moreira and apprentice Shafiq Rizuan.
Shaw scored his first premiership with 78 winners from 509 runners during 2011 while Crabbia, the owner of Rocket Man, saw his colours return to the winner's enclosure on 23 occasions, registering more than $1.7 million in prizemoney.
Moreira for the second year in a row set a new record when he scored 153 wins from 667 rides while Shafiq set a new apprentices record when he booted home 37 winners from 358 rides.
Journalists Tan Thean Loon (The New Paper) and Aaron Chan Chin Kion (Central Integrated Newsroom) received the Racing Media Award for their coverage of racing in the English and Chinese press respectively.
List of winners
CHAMPION TWO-YEAR-OLD – Mr Big.
CHAMPION THREE-YEAR-OLD – Gingerbread Man.
CHAMPION FOUR-YEAR-OLD – Better Than Ever.
CHAMPION OLDER HORSE – Rocket Man.
CHAMPION SPRINTER – Rocket Man.
CHAMPION MILER – Better Than Ever.
CHAMPION STAYER – El Dorado
CHAMPION POLYTRACK HORSE – Dr Grigoros.
MOST IMPROVED HORSE – Ato.
RACING MEDIA AWARD (ENGLISH) – Tan Thean Loon.
(CHINESE) – Aaron Chan.
CHAMPION TRAINER – Patrick Shaw.
CHAMPION JOCKEY – Joao Moreira.
CHAMPION APPRENTICE – Shafiq Rizuan.
LEADING OWNER – Fred Crabbia.
HORSE OF THE YEAR – Rocket Man.