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.”
TRNT chief executive Andrew O’Toole, who will also MC the night, said he was pleased at the selection of finalists.
“This has been a challenging but rewarding season and I am really looking forward to seeing the end result on the night,” he said.
The event will take place on Friday the 9th of October in the Darwin Turf Club’s new public stand with tickets on sale through the Darwin Turf Club website.
A $90 ticket includes a two-course sit down meal, cheese platter and drink voucher, entertainment and cash bar.

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

Ladbrokes Three-year-old of the Year

  • Kalmar (Gary Clarke)
  • Autocratic (Gary Clarke)
  • Escondido (Gary Clarke)

Others considered or ineligible: Happy Bibi, Total Faith, Belmont Day, Air Blazer, Shift The Risk, Testino, Defence Attorney, Call Me Legend

Sprinter of the Year (up to 1300m)

  • Smuggling (Phil Cole)
  • Eastwood (Tayarn Halter)
  • The Captain (Gary Clarke)
  • So Stoic (Chris Pollard)

Others considered or ineligible: Harmonium Bells, I’m Too Hot, Bakslap, Hattan Man, Lots of Coin, Don’t Wait, Patriot Day, Let’s Celebrate, Trebla
Middle Distance / Stayer of the Year (above 1300m)

  • Count of Essex (Gary Clarke)
  • Skaldak (Emma Steel)
  • Rosherville (Tayarn Halter)
  • Taciturn (Gary Clarke)
  • Java (Gary Clarke)
  • Lotion (Angela Forster)

Others considered or ineligible: Makin’ The Grade, Pinzu, Savatoxl, Mazzaro, Yulong Awesome

Ladbrokes Out-of-Carnival Performer of the Year

  • Twilight Maneuver (Chris Pollard)
  • The Captain (Gary Clarke)
  • Skaldak (Emma Steel)
  • So Stoic (Chris Pollard)
  • Eastwood (Tayarn Halter)
  • Smuggling (Phil Cole)

Others considered or ineligible: Trebla, Lots of Coin, Taciturn, Recording To Win, Paseeto, Yulong Awesome, Vunivalu, Dubawi Sniper, Count of Essex, Ima Puppet, Don’t Wait, Hattan Man
Other awards to be announced on the night are:

  • Trainer of the Year
  • Jockey of the Year
  • Carlton United Breweries Horse of the Year
  • Asian United Food Service Leading Jockey for the 2020 Great Northern Darwin Cup Carnival
  • Asian United Food Service Leading Trainer for the 2020 Great Northern Darwin Cup Carnival
  • Bernborough Club NT Strapper of the Year
  • 2020 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)