September 16, 2021

FINALISTS for this year’s Top End Racing Awards have been announced, with some exciting and unexpected contenders named as potential category winners.

Darwin Turf Club chief executive Brad Morgan said it was great to see so many nominations.

“There has been a lot of interest in this year’s awards so we’re looking forward to the night to see who comes out on top,” he said.

“We’re incredibly grateful to our industry this year – their resilience and flexibility has been outstanding in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

TRNT chief executive Andrew O’Toole, who will also MC the night, said he was pleased to see so many trainers represented with finalists on Top End racing’s night-of-nights.

“The Top End Racing Awards gives the industry a chance to recognise and celebrate excellence over the 2020/21 racing season, which has been challenging but rewarding,” he said.

“There are nine trainers who have horses named as finalists, and I am really looking forward to seeing the end result on the night.”

For the first time, the TRNT Off the Track Aftercare Award will be presented to an industry participate who has demonstrated commitment and dedication in the care of the thoroughbred horse in its life after racing.

The event will take place on Friday the 24th of September in the Darwin Turf Club’s New Public Stand with tickets on sale through the Darwin Turf Club website.

Tickets are $75 which includes a two-hour canape package, cheese platters, two complimentary drinks and live entertainment. Tickets pre-sale only, no tickets available at the door.

The full list of finalists are as follows, and are in no particular order:

Ladbrokes Three-year-old of the Year

  • Hajime Naoki     (Phil Cole)
  • Lionel                    (Gary Clarke)
  • Mayameen         (Chris Nash)
  • Obligatory           (Gary Clarke)
  • Siakam                  (Gary Clarke)

Others considered: Canton Kid, Princess Dejour, Global Wonder

Sprinter of the Year (up to 1300m)

  • Eastwood            (Tayarn Halter)
  • Exact Replica      (Phil Cole)
  • Husslin Humph (David Bates)
  • Mayameen         (Chris Nash)
  • Niewand              (Jason Manning)
  • Papalet                 (Gary Clarke)
  • Salty                      (Phil Cole)
  • Smuggling           (Phil Cole)
  • The Captain        (Gary Clarke)

Others considered: Sebrakate, Extolment, Rockatomic, Manly Cove

Middle Distance / Stayer of the Year (above 1300m)

  • Bull Market         (Angela Forster)
  • Fort Knox             (Gary Clarke)
  • I Am The Fox      (Gary Lefoe)
  • Lotion                   (Angela Forster)
  • My Tradition      (Chris Pollard)

Others considered: Embley, Budget King, Southern Bolt, Captain Hedderwick

Out-of-Carnival Performer of the Year

  • Papalet                 (Gary Clarke)
  • Fort Knox             (Gary Clarke)
  • Exact Replica      (Phil Cole)
  • Mini Boom          (Phil Cole)
  • The Captain        (Gary Clarke)                                                     
  • Smuggling           (Phil Cole)
  • Salty                      (Phil Cole)                          

Others considered: Weapon, Mr Boomjangles, Extolment

Other awards to be announced on the night are:

  • Carlton United Breweries Horse of the Year
  • Trainer of the Year
  • Jockey of the Year
  • Silks Darwin Leading Jockey for the 2021 Great Northern Darwin Cup Carnival
  • Silks Darwin Leading Trainer for the 2021 Great Northern Darwin Cup Carnival
  • NT Strapper of the Year, supported by the Bernborough Club
  • 2021 Character of Racing
  • Women in Thoroughbred Racing NT Leading Female Jockey (Alice Springs and Darwin)
  • Women in Thoroughbred Racing NT Leading Female Trainer (Alice Springs and Darwin)
  • TRNT Off the Track Aftercare Award