Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has been awarded his fifth consecutive Bart Cummings Medal at Racing’s Night of Champions held at Royal Randwick on Thursday night.
Waller claimed his fifth straight Sydney Trainers’ Premiership at the end of season 2014-15 after preparing 144 metropolitan winners for the season.
The master trainer claimed the Bart Cummings Medal with 88 points as he held a clear margin to the second-placed James McDonald on 62 points and Blake Shinn with 56 points finished third.
Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter V’landys congratulated Waller for collecting his fifth successive Bart Cummings Medal.
“Chris Waller and his team constantly do an amazing job and deserve all the plaudits that come their way,” V’landys said.
“Taking out five successive Bart Cummings Medals against some of the finest jockeys and trainers anywhere in the world is an incredible achievement.”
Waller also pocketed the TJ Smith Award for being Sydney’s premier trainer for the season.
Star jockey Hugh Bowman captured his third George Moore Award after taking out the Sydney Jockeys’ Premiership with 96 metropolitan winners. He defeated James McDonald and Blake Shinn who rode 91.5 winners for the season. Bowman’s previous titles came in 2008-09 and 2011-12.
Winona Costin won the Theo Green Award as Sydney’s leading apprentice rode 41 winners for the season. At just 20 years of age, Costin has already ridden 194 winners – 53 metro, 57 provincial and 84 country.
Blake Shinn was voted NSW Racing Writers’ Personality of the Year.
The Daily Telegraph’s Ray Thomas had the following comments to say about Shinn’s commitment to promote the racing industry.
“Blake received a commanding number of votes from racing writers to take out the award. It is fair to say Blake once had an uneasy relationship with the media but these days he is extremely obliging to interview requests and is always willing to promote the racing industry. Perhaps it is sheer coincidence but his relaxed, calm demeanour also resulted in a career-best season for the jockey. Others to attract votes were Chris Waller, Gerald Ryan, Gai Waterhouse, Tommy Berry and Ron Quinton,” Thomas said.
Vicki Scezsodi from the Bjorn Baker stable was recognised as Sydney Strapper of the Year.
Baker praised Scezsodi for her passion and leadership skills within the stable.
“Vicki is an accomplished horsewoman and experienced stablehand. She is passionate about equine welfare and oversees the routine treatment of our horses on a daily basis. Vicki regularly accompanies our horses to country and provincial races and voluntarily assumed the role of mentoring our junior staff. Vicki is a very valued staff member,” Baker said.
John Tapp and Ken Callander were both recognised for their contributions to the industry as joint winners of the NSWROA Industry Recognition Award.
The NSW Racehorse Owners’ Awards recognise the feat of our equine stars and four-year-old mare First Seal was the biggest winner of all as she was named NSW Horse of the Year.
Full list of NSW Racehorse Owners Award winners:
NSW Horse of the Year – First Seal
2YO – Pride Of Dubai
3YO – First Seal
Sprinter – Chautauqua
Miler – Royal Descent
Middle Distance – Criterion
Stayer – Grand Marshal
Queen of the Autumn – First Seal
NSW Provincial Horse of the Year – Lucia Valentina
NSW Country Horse of the Year – Scissor Kick
BOBS Horse of the Year – Eisenhower