before has there been such a wide open race for the right to be crowned Australia's Horse
of the Year as there is this season.
WS Cox Plate
Ethereal, Northerly and Sunline, who each have won three
Group One races this season are locked together in a tremendous battle for the crown which
will be announced at the end of the season on July 31.
Had either Northerly or Ethereal been able to win the
Australian Cup at Flemington in February their name would probably be on the trophy.
Sunline, a multiple winner of the award, stormed into
contention with a burst of three Group One wins in the past couple of months.
The New Zealand mare actually won four Group Ones during
the season. But her comprehensive win the Waikato Draught Sprint at Te Rapa can not be
taken into account with the race being run on the other side of the Tasman.
Will the fact that neither Ethereal or Sunline have been
able to beat Northerly home in a race this season give the West Aussie an advantage?
The last horse to complete the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup
double Let's Elope, was crowned the Champion of her year, will that be enough for
Or will it be the undisputed crowd favourite Sunline who
can make history and be the first horse to ever win the title for the third time?
These three questions will be answered when the votes come
in from the industry experts at the end of July. Members of the Australia Racing Writers
Association, Representatives from Racing Clubs and Handicappers will have one of the
hardest decisions of the lives come July.
While Victory Vein picks herself as the champion juvenile
and Lonhro looks sure to voted the best at three, it's the main prize that has the racing
fraternity in a spin.
There's more than just the three questions listed above
that have to be considered come voting time.
How much gloss will be taken off Northerly for his unplaced
effort in Perth? Will the temporary media ban by Trevor McKee and Thayne Green make a
difference? Remember the media do vote. Will the Coolmore Classic be classed as a Group
Two with voters when it comes to the crunch? Has the recent retirement of Ethereal and
pending end for Sunline had any influence?
- Ethereal has never beaten Sunline.
- Sunline has never beaten Northerly.
- Ethereal has never beaten Northerly.
- All three won three Group One races in Australia during the
- Sunline is the only horse to have placed in every start.
- Northerly's three Group Ones came at weight-for-age. Both
Sunline and Ethereal won handicaps.
- Sunline's best winning streak is four (at present),
Northerly is also four and Ethereal is two.
- Kingston Town only ever was Horse of the Year once.
- No female trainer has ever been represented by the HOY
- The last Melbourne Cup winner to win was Saintly. Before
than it was Jeune. Neither had also won the Caulfield Cup.
- The Cox Plate winner has won the past three awards.
- The last mare to win before Sunline was Cups heroine Let's
Northerly won five races during the season, Sunline four
and Ethereal three.
3rd of 8 Pukekohe F&M Open Hcp 1400m 1st
Its Platonic, 2nd Maggie
3rd of 13 Matamata Cup LR 1600m 1st Its Platonic, 2nd
3rd of 8 Caulfield Yalumba Stks G1 2000m 1st Northerly, 2nd
1st of 18 Caulfield Caulfield Cup G1 2400m 2nd Sky Heights 3rd
1st of 22 Flemington Melbourne Cup G1 3200m 2nd Give the Slip, 3rd
5th of 11 Te Rapa Waikato Sprint G1 1400m 1st Sunline, 2nd
5th of 9 Caulfield St. George Stakes G2 1800m 1st Northerly 2nd
5th of 11 Flemington Australian Cup G1 2000m 1st Old Comrade 2nd
1st of 7 Rosehill The BMW G1 2400m 2nd Universal Prince, 3rd
1st of 9 Belmont Park Goodwood Sprint LR 2nd
Prince of Pop, Corporate Bruce
2nd of 10 Belmont Park Farnley Stakes LR 1st Corporate Bruce, 3rd
Prince of Pop
1st of 8 Moonee Valley Feehan Stakes G2 2nd Sunline, 3rd
1st of 13 Caulfield Underwood Stakes G1 2nd Universal Prince, 3rd
1st of 8 Caulfield Yalumba Stakes G1 2nd Shogun Lodge, 3rd
1st of 8 Moonee Valley WS Cox Plate G1 2nd Sunline, 3rd
11th of 16 Ascot Railway Stakes G1 1st Old Comrade, 2nd
2nd of 9 Caulfield CF Orr Stakes G1 1st Barkada, 3rd Cent
1st of 9 Caulfield St. George Stakes G2 2nd Old Comrade, 3rd
2nd of 11 Flemington Australian Cup G1 1st Old Comrade, 3rd
2nd of 10 Moonee Valley Manikato Stakes G1 1st
Piavonic, 3rd Falvelon
1st of 9 Caulfield Memsie Stakes G2 2nd Piavonic, 3rd Rum
2nd of 8 Moonee Valley Feehan Stakes G2 1st Northerly, 3rd
1st of 14 Flemington Turnbull Stakes G2 2nd Universal Prince, 3rd
2nd of 8 Moonee Valley WS Cox Plate G1 1st Northerly, 3rd
*1st of 11 Te Rapa Waikato Draught Sprint G1 2nd Honor Bound, 3rd
1st of 12 Rosehill Coolmore Classic G1 2nd Gentle Genius, 3rd
1st of 20 Randwick Doncaster Hcp G1 2nd Shogun Lodge, 3rd
1st of 10 Randwick All Aged Stakes G1 2nd Cent Home, 3rd
* race was run in New Zealand and will not be taken into
And for what it's worth I'm leaning west to find the best!