From the Commentary Box – Monday, 19 August 2013


Cambridge played a major part in last week’s New Zealand Racing Awards.

Although the major award of Horse of the Year went to the Matamata trained Cox Plate winner Ocean Park, the locals certainly made their presence felt.

In a poignant moment, the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Racing Award was given to the late Jim Campin.

The hugely successful Breeder, Owner and Trainer, passed away earlier this year and his award was accepted by his son Mark Fraser Campin and daughter Anna Campin.

Mark Fraser Campin read out the acceptance speech penned by his late father just weeks before he passed away.

The ovation Jim Campin received from the big crowd reflected the esteem in which he was held from within the Racing industry.

There was no doubting his award was richly deserved.

Also deserving of their award as NZ Trainer of the Year were the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman partnership.

After a stellar season, led by outstanding three year old Dundeel, the Baker / Forsman team were warm favourites to win the title so their success was no suprise.

Accepting the award was the junior partner Andrew Forsman.

“We were lucky to have some really nice horses throughout the season but Dundeel was the obvious highlight” said Forsman.

Forsman also acknowledged the hard work from the stable staff.

“Competent staff is so important especially in a big stable like ours and we are so lucky to have a great team with us” he said.

There were no surprises when Dundeel was awarded the Champion Three Year Old of the Year.

After a hugely successful Australian campaign which saw him win several Group One races, including the AJC Derby, Dundeel was a short odds on favourite to win the title.

The outstanding High Chapparal colt was also acknowledged in Australia recently when he was voted the New South Wales Horse of the Year, recognition of the success he had there last season.

Forsman told the audience that Dundeel was heading to Melbourne for a campaign which will include a Cox Plate tilt.

“We are very happy with his condition” said Forsman.

“He has really strengthened up and looks a million dollars” he added.

Ruud Awakening was named the Champion Two Year Old of the Year, heading off a strong challenge from unbeaten filly Recite.

Ruud Awakening gave trainer Stephen Marsh his first Group One winner on his account when winning the Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie last season.

Syndicate Manager Albert Bosma also outlined a Spring Melbourne campaign for Ruud Awakening.

“We’ve mapped out a tentative programme for her, but we’ll take it one race at a time and see how things pan out” said Bosma.

Another Cambridge galloper to pick up an award was Sangster.

The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained galloper was named Champion Stayer of the Year.

The former VRC Derby winner recaptured form during a highly successful campaign which saw him win the Avondale and Auckland Cups.

Busuttin also outlined an Australian campaign for his stable star.

“His win in the Auckland Cup qualified him for the Melbourne Cup so provided he races well, that’s where we’ll be heading ” said Busuttin.

Also amongst the winners were Trelawney Stud owners Brent and Cherry Taylor.

They were named Breeders of the Year, in recognition as Breeders of eventual Horse of the Year Ocean Park.

The Taylor’s also own Sayyida, who was named Broodmare of the Year.

“This is a great thrill for us and to have the opportunity to breed a horse like Ocean Park and to follow him around the world to see him race was a real thrill” said Taylor.

Another local stud, the Oaks Stud, was the inaugural winner of the NZ Owners Premiership.

This award was determined over the season on a points system.

Congratulations to all concerned.

Let’s hope this season will bring more success for everyone.

 I’ll catch you next week.