Kiwi breds sweep Australian top honours
It was announced yesterday that New Zealand bred Standardbreds were awarded the highest honours in the annual Australian Horse of the Year titles, in the country’s most prestigious awards.
In a media release from Harness Racing Australia, Chief Executive Andrew Kelly announced the winners of the age category, and overall titles.
New Zealand bred open class pacer, Tiger Tara, claimed the titles of Australian Horse of the Year, Australian Aged Horse or Gelding of the Year and Australian Pacer of the Year.
Bred by Ray Anicich, the stallion recorded 8 wins and 8 placings from 21 starts last season, including his brave second placing in the 2018 New Zealand Trotting Cup behind Thefixer.
Tiger Tara is currently nominated for the 2019 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup and is currently third favourite on futures options with the New Zealand TAB.
While on the trotting side of the awards another Kiwi was being celebrated.
Expat New Zealand trotter Tornado Valley was crowned Australian Trotter of the Year and Aged Australian Trotting Entire or Gelding of the Year.
Tornado Valley was bred by Petina Gaugler and Terry McMillan (also former trainer of the horse), and won seven races here in New Zealand before being exported to Australia.
Since then the son of Skyvalley has taken his career record to 28 win from 84 starts, including last seasons Interdominion Grand Final (heading home a Kiwi bred trifecta with Speeding Spur second and Monty Python third), the Group One features: Bill Collins Sprint, Maori Mile and the Knight Pistol.
Last season Tornado Valley won 11 of his 12 starts.
Congratulations must also go to North Otago trainer Phil Williamson and his team, and the breeders Lex and Heather Williams as Ultimate Stride was crowed the Australian 2yo Trotting Colt of the Year.
The son of Love You and former Champion trotting mare, One Over Kenny, was unbeaten in his four Australian starts, which included a Breeders Crown Final victory, and success in the Group One Redwood Classic.
Ultimate Stride is owned by Emilo and Maria Rosati, who are based in New South Wales.
Kiwi bred Majestuoso was also awarded 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the year after winning 8 of his 11 race day starts last season including the Victoria Trotters Derby and the Holmfield.
Majestuoso was bred by Alabar Stud NZ Ltd, and is by Majestic Son out of Rosemaryz Luck.
Andrew Kelly advised that Harness Racing Australia will be contacting the winning connections to arrange for the presentations of the awards to be made.
The performance criteria for the HRA Awards is for performances by Australian trained horses regardless of venue or country, as well as for the Australian performances of New Zealand trained horses.