Cambridge dominant again as Khan reigns supreme

Mongolian Khan 2015 Caulfield Cup courtesy of SlickPix

The Gr. 1 Caulfield Cup win which landed Mongolian Khan the ultimate award, NZ Horse Of The Year, for the second successive season (Photo: SlickPix)

Cambridge is again the home of the NZ Horse of the Year award winner.

For the second year in succession multiple Group One winner Mongolian Khan has won the NZ Horse of the Year title. He was rewarded for his Gr. 1 Caulfield Cup win with the award at last night’s function in Auckland.

Horses from the local stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have now been recognised as NZ Horse of the Year winners with Dundeel (2013-14) preceding Mongolian Khan’s double.

Last year Mongolian King was dominant at the awards function (then held in Hamilton), being successful in two categories – Champion Three-Year-Old and Champion Stayer – before taking the major award, Horse of the Year.

Though he was a standout for the Champion Stayer award this year, Mongolian Khan provided his connections, including his owners, the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Ltd, with a pleasant surprise when taking the major award.

“I’m so excited, I can’t think of anything to say,” said Rider Horse principal Lang Lin, alias “Mr Wolf,” whose group won Owner of the Year award.

“I want to thank the trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and our jockey Opie Bosson, and thanks to everyone for being here and celebrating Mongolian Khan.

“I promised last year that he would win the Melbourne Cup and come back to New Zealand for stud. He didn’t win the Melbourne Cup, but he won the Caulfield Cup and came back to New Zealand. Windsor Park is a great stud and hopefully he will do a very good job.”

Mongolian Khan has become the first horse to win the Horse of the Year title in successive years since another great Cambridge galloper, Seachange, who accomplished the feat from 2006-07.

It was also a perfect way to conclude Mongolian Khan’s racing career as he now settles down in his new role as a sire at Windsor Park Stud.

Last year Cambridge won five of the eight horse categories and also three other awards on the night came to the centre, including the Dunstan Trainer of the Year title to Baker and Forsman.

The Cambridge region went one better in the horse categories, picking up six awards, including an equal first between the Mark Brooks-trained Jack Romanov and trans-Tasman performer Sea King in the Champion Jumper category.

Sacred Elixir, from the stable of Tony Pike, beat a strong line-up to take the Champion Two-Year-Old award and the Baker and Forsman-trained Turn Me Loose landed two awards – Champion Sprinter and Champion Middle-Distance Performer.

Cambridge Stud’s Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan claimed the Breeder of the Year award for the fifth time after winning it in 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 2003-04.

Their stars were Tavago, who was trained at Cambridge by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young to win the Gr. 1 $A2 million Australian Derby, Tarzino, winner of the Victoria Derby, and Preferment, who captured the Australian Cup and BMW. Both Tavago and Tarzino are sons of Cambridge Stud’s exciting sire Tavistock.

The Cambridge centre also played a huge part in Wellington businessman Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock picking up the FastTrack Insurance Owner of the Year award, as well as the NZ Bloodstock Filly Of The Year title (through his filly the Stephen Marsh-trained Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa).

Australian Oaks day marked a huge occasion for Petagna, who also won Sydney’s richest race, the $A4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes with the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina, who began her career in the Marsh stable.

Petagna’s huge season also included top performances by Sofia Rosa’s stablemate, the unbeaten stakes winner Ugo Foscolo, and the Baker and Forsman-trained Saracino, who finished third in the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes, and stablemate, the Listed Champagne Stakes placegetter Eleonora.

Other award winners on the night were:

NZTR Award for Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand racing: Gerald Fell and the late Rex Fell.

NZTR Award for Outstanding Global Achievement: Chris Waller.

Champion Three-Year-Old: Xtravagant.

Dunstan Trainer of the Year: Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

FastTrack Insurance Jockey of the Year: Lisa Allpress.

FastTrack Insurance Jumps Jockey of the Year: Shaun Fannin.

McBeath Apprentice Jockey of the Year: Shaun McKay.

Broodmare of the Year: Bagalollies.

Media Award: Dennis Ryan.

Trainers’ Premiership: Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

Jockeys’ Premiership: Lisa Allpress.

Grosvenor Award: Savabeel.

Dewar Award: Savabeel.

Centaine Award: Savabeel.