National Harness Racing Awards for 2018 were presented on both sides of the Tasman over the last week and it was great to see that Breckon Farms featured prominently on both occasions.
The Harness Racing Australia Awards were the first to be announced, with many New Zealand equine stars to the fore. Notably it was the Kiwi sensation Lazarus (Bettor’s Delight / Bethany) who was the star of the show, taking out the 2018 Australian Harness Horse of the Year honours, as well as the Australian Pacer of the Year and Aged Pacing Horse of Gelding of the Year awards. In a great season, Lazarus earned $1,036,299 in Australia alone, taking out the Group 1 Inter Dominion Grand Final and the Group 1 Hunter Cup, two of the most prestigious races on the Australian Grand Circuit.
Another notable award winner was the unbeaten New Zealand 2-year-old pacing filly, (Our) Princess Tiffany (Art Major / Dancing Diamonds), who won the Australian 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year award, having won three-from-three in Australia for $160,400 in stakes, finishing her campaign with a very brave win in the Breeders Crown Final. Princess Tiffany was foaled and reared at Breckon Farms for breeders Braeden and Caroline Whitelock who race the filly with Phil and Margaret Creighton.
Also hailing from Breckon Farms, being bred, owned and raced by them before being sold to Australian interests was Stress Factor (Majestic Son / Fear Factor), the winner of the 3YO Colt/Gelding Trotter of the Year title. He too won three-from-three in Australia in the 2017/18 season, for $83,450, including the Group 1 Victoria Trotters Derby and the Group 1 3YO Trotting Colts & Geldings Breeders Crown Final.
On the human front, Chris Alford won the drivers award for the third consecutive year, to take out his 12th Australian title, posting 457 wins which was an all-time record and the first time a driver has driven more than 400 winners in a season. Trainer Emma Stewart won the trainers award for the first time with a grand total of 309 wins, which broke the previous national record for the most training wins in a season.
The full list of Australian Horse of the Year award winners is:-
Lawn Derby Awards – Pacers
Harness Horse of the Year, Pacer of the Year, Aged Horse/Gelding Pacer of the Year – LAZARUS
Aged Mare Pacer of the Year – CARLAS PIXEL
3YO Filly Pacer of the Year – SHEZ ALL ROCK
3YO Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year – POSTE
2YO Filly Pacer of the Year – (OUR) PRINCESS TIFFANY
2YO Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year – CENTENARIO
Vancieve Awards – Trotters
Trotter of the Year, Aged Trotting Horse/Gelding of the Year – SPARLING SUCCESS
Aged Mare Trotter of the Year – RED HOT TOOTH
3YO Filly Trotter of the Year – MOONSHINE LINDA
3YO Colt/Gelding Trotter of the Year – STRESS FACTOR
2YO Filly Trotter of the Year – SLEEPEE
2YO Colt/Gelding Trotter of the Year – ALWAYS READY
Globe Derby Awards – Breeding
Leading Sire By Stakemoney – BETTOR’S DELIGHT (for the 7th time) 582 starters 400 winners 1064 wins $11,980,180
Leading Sire of 2YO’s by Stakemoney – ART MAJOR (for the 7th Time) 107 starters 50 winners 86 wins $1,403,066
Leading Sire of 3YO’s by Stakemoney – ART MAJOR (for the 5th time) 120 starters 81 winners 206 wins $1,853,355
Leading Juvenile Sire by Stakemoney (2&3YO’s) – ART MAJOR (for the 7th time) 227 starters 131 winners 292 wins $3,256,421
Leading Sire of Trotters by Stakemoney – MAJESTIC SON (for the 3rd time) 107 starters 56 winners 152 wins $1,578,458
Leading Broodmare Sire of Trotters by Stakemoney – SUNDON (for the 8th time) 175 starters 104 winners 268 wins $2,656,205
Leading Sire by Winners – BETTOR’S DELIGHT (for the 3rd time) – 400
Leading Sire of 2YO’s by Winners – ART MAJOR (for the 8th time) – 50
Leading Sire of 3YO’s by Winners – ART MAJOR (for the 4th time) – 81
Leading Broodmare Sire by Stakemoney – CHRISTIAN CULLEN (for the 2nd time) 351 starters 245 winners 698 wins $7,831,061
Leading Broodmare Sire of 2YO’s by Stakemoney – ART MAJOR (for the 2nd time) 41 starters 20 winners 54 wins $900,340
Leading Broodmare Sire of 3YO’s by Stakemoney – CHRISTIAN CULLEN (for the 3rd time) 71 starters 44 winners 116 wins $886,420
Leading Broodmare Sire by Winners – CHRISTIAN CULLEN (for the 1st time) – 245
Leading Broodmare Sire of 2YO’s by Winners – CHRISTIAN CULLEN (for the 1st time) – 23
Leading Broodmare Sire of 3YO’s by Winners – CHRISTIAN CULLEN (for the 3rd time) – 44
J.D. Watts Award – Trainer and Driver
Leading Driver – CHRIS ALFORD (for the 12th time) – 457
Leading Trainer – EMMA STEWART (for the 1st time) – 309
Back here in New Zealand, at Alexandra Park in Auckland, on Saturday night the NZ Harness Racing Awards were presented.
Once again in a star-studded night, Breckon Farms were to feature.
Of course, Lazarus repeated his Australian feat, taking out the prestigious Horse of the Year award, as well as Pacer of the Year and 5YO+ Pacer of the Year. In New Zealand, Lazarus went unbeaten in the 2017/18 season, winning four-from-four for $495,185, including the “Holy Grail” the Group 1 NZ Trotting Cup.
After his record-breaking sale to USA interests in April, Lazarus’ former owners attended Saturday night’s function in his honour, to salute their champion one last time. Philip and Glenys Kennard, who selected Lazarus at the yearling sales in 2014, along with fellow owner Trevor Casey, are members of the Breckon Farms Syndicates, so it was great to see them enjoying a final hurrah to their beloved equine star, with Philip giving a very emotional final speech, followed by an excellent tribute to Lazarus by his Australasian trainer Mark Purdon.
Breckon Farms were very proud to be directly involved with nominees for seven of the categories on offer, having nominees for the 2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year (part-owners of Another Masterpiece – Bettor’s Delight / Elegant Art), 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year (breeders of Elle Mac – Bettor’s Delight / Goodlookinggirl), 4YO Pacing Mare of the Year (owners of Partyon – Bettor’s Delight / Beach Parade, raced by the Breckon Farms – The Top Ten Syndicate), 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year (breeders and owners of Tickle Me Pink – Muscle Hill / Luby Ann, raced by the Breckon Farms – The Perfect Ten Syndicate), 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year (breeders and owners of Luby Lou – Muscle Hill / Luby Ann, raced by the Breckon Farms – Six of the Best Syndicate), Pacing Broodmare of the Year (owners of Goodlookinggirl – Christian Cullen / Twice As Good) and Breeder of the Year (Breckon Farms).
Breckon Farms related award winners on the night were Another Masterpiece (2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year), who is part-owned by the Breckon Racing Syndicate, together with Phil and Glenys Kennard, along with Jim and Ann Gibbs and Garry and Kerry Woodham; Princess Tiffany (3YO Pacing Filly of the Year) who was bred and reared at Breckon Farms for breeders Braeden and Caroline Whitelock; and Luby Lou (3YO Trotting Filly of the Year) who was bred by Breckon Farms and is raced by the Breckon Farms – Six of the Best Syndicate. Phil and Glenys Kennard also took out the Owner of the Year award, while Braeden and Caroline Whitelock were awarded the Breeder of the Year title. It was interesting to see that Tickle Me Pink just missed out on winning the 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year title by only one vote, while Princess Tiffany and Luby Lou were unanimous winners, each collecting all 25 available votes in their respective categories.
The Breckon Farms sponsored 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year award went to Enhance Your Clam, while the Breckon Farms Trotter of the Year title was taken out by Speeding Spur, who made a return to racing after suffering a serious injury, winning the Group 1 Rowe Cup and Group 1 NZ Trotting Championship during the season.
Remarkably, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, who took out the Trainer of the Year award, together with other family and their owners were dominating winners on the night, taking out a cumulative 16 awards in total.
The premier human award for the season, the Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing, went to husband-and-wife team Steve and Anne Phillips, who have been involved in volunteer work within the industry for over 30 years, including amateur driving, Kidz Kartz, cadets and education as well as being breeders, owners and trainers, while Sheree Tomlinson and her family were the winners of the public-elect ‘Moment of the Year’ for Amaretto Sun’s upset win in the Dominion Handicap.
Bettor’s Delight and Majestic Son repeated their Australian wins after dominant siring seasons in New Zealand too, winning the awards for Pacing and Trotting Stallions of the Year respectively.
The full list of 2018 New Zealand Harness Racing Award winners is:-
Vincent 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year – PRINCESS TIFFANY
IRT New Zealand 2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year – ANOTHER MASTERPIECE
Alabar 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year – SHEZ ALL ROCK
Lone Star Alexandra Park Coming Soon 3YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year – CHASE AUCKLAND
Dunstan Feeds 4YO Pacing Mare of the Year – UTMOST DELIGHT
HRNZ Marketing 4YO Pacing Entire or Gelding of the Year – ULTIMATE MACHETE
Canterbury Equine Clinic 5YO & Older Pacing Mare of the Year – JO’S DREAM
Hanley Formula 5YO & Older Pacing Entire or Gelding of the Year – LAZARUS
Woodlands Stud Pacer of the Year – LAZARUS
Standardbreds Make Awesome Pets 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year – CHEERFUL
Breckon Farms 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year – ENHANCE YOUR CALM
What The Hill 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year – LUBY LOU
Commodore Airport Hotel 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year – WINTERFELL
Somerset Racing Stables & Equestrian 4YO Trotting Mare of the Year – BONNIE HIGHLANDER
Trackside 4YO Trotting Entire or Gelding of the Year – HABIBI INTA
Emblems NZ 5YO & Older Trotting Mare of the Year – DESTINY JONES
Lone Star Spitfire at Christchurch Airport 5YO & Older Trotting Entire or Gelding of the Year – SPEEDING SPUR
Breckon Farms Trotter of the Year – SPEEDING SPUR
The Breeders Pacing Broodmare of the Year – BETHANY
The Breeders Trotting Broodmare of the Year – TEN TO ONE
The Breeders/FastTrack Insurance Breeder of the Year – BRAEDEN & CAROLINE WHITELOCK
The Auckland Trotting Club Pacing Stallion of the Year – BETTOR’S DELIGHT
The Breeders Trotting Stallion of the Year – MAJESTIC SON
Driver, Trainer & Cadet
Southern Harness Leading Junior Driver – MATT ANDERSON
Cruickshank Leading Junior Driver UDR – NATHAN PURDON
Harness Racing New Zealand Leading Driver – BLAIR ORANGE
Garrards Horse and Hound Leading Trainer – MARK PURDON & NATALIE RASMUSSEN
Airpark Canterbury Cadet of the Year – ELLIE BARRON
Airpark Canterbury Runner Up – Cadet of the Year – LUKE WHITTAKER
Met Multiplier $1.5m Milestone Owner of the Year – PHILLIP & GLENYS KENNARD
NZ Racing Board Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing – STEVE & ANNE PHILLIPS
The Informant Best Moment of the Season – SHEREE TOMLINSON/FORD FAMILY – AMARETTO SUN DOMINION WIN
NZB Standardbred Horse of the Year – LAZARUS
Congratulations must go to all horses and connections, trainers and drivers and all other award winners for their successes in winning awards.