In the closest ever contest for the title, Telecom New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever has been declared 2011-12 Ellerslie Horse of the Year.
Returns from the 12-member voting panel gave the award to the country’s champion three-year-old by just two votes – 46 against 44 – over Shez Sinsational, the winner of the Stella Artois Auckland Cup and the Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie. Three other horses gained votes, with Manco Easter Handicap winner Veyron third on 16 and Rodd & Gunn Great Northern Steeplechase winner Ima Heroine and Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes winner Warhorse each receiving a single vote.
Veyron took the award for best individual performance on the track this season, recognising his second consecutive Easter Handicap success carrying 59 kilograms.
Silent Achiever’s trainer Roger James claimed the trainer of the year award, while James McDonald, whose wins included the New Zealand Derby on Silent Achiever and the Auckland Cup on Shez Sinsational, took the jockeys’ award. Jason Collett, coincidentally the rider of yesterday’s Barfoot & Thompson Ellerslie Jockey of the Year winner Civics Rock, won the apprentice title.
- The Informant