Wow! What a night for Cambridge

It was all Mongolian Khan's night at the NZ Thoroughbred Racing Awards. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn)

It was all Mongolian Khan’s night at the NZ Thoroughbred Racing Awards. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn)

Cambridge stole the show at the NZ Thoroughbred Racing Awards dinner in Hamilton last night.

Horses and people connected with Cambridge cleaned up 12 awards on the night with Mongolian Khan, as expected, being the star of the evening.

Mongolian Khan was a unanimous winner of the Champion Three-Year-Old award and also captured the Champion Stayer award plus the big one of the night, the Horse Of The Year.

It was a huge result for Mr Lang Lin’s Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry, owners of Mongolian Khan, and it was completed perfectly for them when earlier in the evening the group picked up the Owner Of The Year award. The Owners’ Premiership winner was Sir Peter Vela, owner of Cambridge’s Pencarrow Stud.

Mongolian’s Khan’s record-breaking trainers, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, were deservedly honoured with the Trainer Of The Year as well as, obviously, winning the Trainers’ Premiership award.

Baker and Forsman smashed John Sargent’s 2011-12 mark of 111 when they registered 113 winners, including 17 at Group or Listed level, of $3,273,070. Their strike rate of 4.83 was unmatched by any other trainer in the top 60 on the premiership.

“We had a terrific season and Andrew did a great job, he’s a fine horseman,” said Baker. “It was a strong team effort with very good staff and we were blessed with good horses and loyal owners and that’s what counts.

“It all makes a difference and we were lucky to have two such good jockeys as Opie Bosson and Matt Cameron riding for us as well.”

Parfore, owned by Cambridge-based Wentwood Grange, won the Broodmare Of The Year title through the deeds of Terravista and Tiger Tees, while Sacred Star, from Tony Pike’s stable, raced away with the Champion Sprinter award and Amanood Lad, the star of Ben Foote’s team, won the Champion Jumper award.

Michael Mitchell added to Cambridge’s haul when winning the Jumps Jockey Of The Year Award.

Making the Jockey and Apprentice awards (to Matt Cameron and Rory Hutchings respectively was James McDonald, the former Cambridge lad who was honoured with a new NZTR Award for Outstanding Global Achievement.

A champion apprentice, McDonald is now based in Sydney and is acknowledged as one of the finest senior riders in the world. Throughout much of 2015 he has been jointly rated the Longines’ World’s Best Jockey and is currently second equal behind star French rider Maxime Guyon.

The other awards were divided over the country with the Dennis brothers, Joe, Martin, Ray and Tony, being popular winners of the Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Racing Award.

The Dennis brothers have enjoyed outstanding success as breeders, owners, trainers and vendors with horses bred by the quartet having won numerous Group One races in New Zealand and Australia from Derbys, Oaks, cups and weight-for-age features, including the Cox Plate.

The brothers have been responsible for leading performers including The Phantom Chance, The Jewel, The Phantom, The Twinkle and The Diamond One and Broodmares of the Year The Pixie, The Fantasy and The Grin.

Marky Mark, owned by Brendan and Jo Lindsay and trained at Waiuku by Moira Murdoch, won the Champion Two-Year-Old Award and Soriano picked up the Champion Middle-Distance Horse title.

The connections of Platinum Witness were presented with the NZ Bloodstock Filly Of The Year award, while IDL Breeding Lad picked up the Breeder Of The Year Award through the success of Volstok’n’barrell and Sauvito.

Waikato Stud cleaned up the sires’ awards, taking the Grosvenor Award with Savabeel, who also won the Dewar Award, and the Centaine Award with O’Reilly. The Media Award was won for a second time by Brendan Popplewell.