Great season reaps rewards for Waller


THE Chris Waller stable dominated the prestigious NSW Racehorse Owners Awards held at Royal Randwick on Thursday evening.

For the 10th year in succession, Waller won the coveted Bart Cummings Medal which is voted on by Sydney racing journalists and awarded to the season’s most outstanding performer in the training and riding ranks at metropolitan meetings.

Waller also won his 10th straight Tommy Smith Medal as Sydney’s premier trainer with 135 city wins in


The Waller-trained Nature Strip, winner of three Group 1 races last season, won the NSW Horse of the Year title and also claimed the Champion Sprinter award. The brilliant sprinter also won Australian Horse of the Year earlier this month.

Nature Strip, who faded to run seventh in The Everest, is going to be given his chance to go back-to-back in the Darley Sprint Classic at Flemington next month.

Another star boarder at the Waller stable, Verry Elleegant, won NSW Champion Stayer for her wins in the Tancred Stakes and Hill Stakes.

And she narrowly missed out on the Middle Distance award to English raider Addeybb, who beat the mare in the Ranvet Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last autumn.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Farnan was a deserved winner of Champion Two-Year-Oldafter his brilliant wins in the Silver Slipper, Todman Stakes and Golden Slipper Stakes.

Farnan’s former stablemate, the now-retired Con Te Partiro, won Queen of the Autumn, for her Group 1 wins in the Coolmore Classic and Queen of the Turf Stakes.

Godolphin’s Bivouac won the three-year-old title for his wins in the Golden Rose and Newmarket Handicap, while Fierce Impact was Champion Miler for his Toorak Handicap and Cantala Stakes triumphs.

The Jenny Graham-trained Victorem won the country award and Raheen House, a tough stayer trained by Kris Lees, won the provincial category, while the BOBS Horse of the Year award was a tie between Fituese and Edison.

Premier Sydney jockey James McDonald (George Moore Medal) and leading apprentice Robbie Dolan (Theo Green Medal) won their awards for the second consecutive year, and Graeme Wilson was Sydney Strapper of the season.

The NSW Racing Writers Award, renamed the Caryl Williamson Racing Writers Personality of the Year Award, so named in honour of our late and much-loved colleague, was won by the affable Warwick Farm trainer Greg Hickman.