THE Kwazulu-Natal Racing Awards dinner 2010 was held in the Belvedere Room at the Durban Country Club on Friday evening, 17 September and there were a few reversals of choice from the Equus national 2010 Awards.
The most notable of these was the Sean Tarry-trained Happy Archer being voted above the Mike de Kock-trained Mahbooba in the Two-Year-Old filly category.
The KZN Horse Of The Year Award saw the de Kock-trained Bold Silvano oust his Equus Horse Of The Year winning-stablemate, Irish Flame, but this was not altogether surprising as one of Irish Flame’s Grade 1 wins, in the SA Derby, took place outside of the province, while Bold Silvano’s July win over Irish Flame must have been viewed as superior in status to rish Flame’s Daily News 2000 win over Bold Silvano.
Bold Silvano also won the Three-year-old Colt/gelding Award above Irish Flame, Orbison and Ancestral Fore.
Bold Silvano’s part-owner, Gill Thompson, flew up from her East London home to accept both awards.
The two-year-old colt Award went the same way as the Equus Awards with the Dennis Drier-trained Link Man clinching it with his Grade 1 Gold Medallion win.
Link Man has now joined Mike de Kock and will campaign in Johannesburg in the Spring.
The three-year-old fillies award also went the same way as the Equus with the De Kock-trained Here To Win clinching it as she beat the other Grade 1 winning nominee, the Glen Kotzen-trained Imperious Star, in the Grade 1 Garden Province over 1600m on July day.
Here To Win also won the Grade 1 SA Oaks in Johannesburg.
The panel proved they did consider out of province races by awarding the Dennis Bosch-trained Noble Heir the KZN Older Filly/Mare Award, as she won the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint outside of the province.
The KZN Older Colt/Gelding Award went to the Duncan Howells-trained Tropical Empire and the Master Of Ceremonies, Graeme Hawkins, pointed out that his win in the Grade 2 Drill Hall Stakes over 1400m at Greyville was one of the performances of the Champions Season.
The Stayer Award was also a reversal of the Equus Award with the Grade 1 Canon Gold Cup winner, the De Kock-trained Ancestral Fore, ousting his stablemate and duel Derby winner, Irish Flame.
The KZN Apprentice Jockey of the Year was Aldo Domeyer, while Jockey of the Year was Anthony Delpech.
Delpech gave high praise to the team of Mike de Kock that he felt he was privileged to ride for.
The KZN Breeder of the Year was Summerhill Stud and Mick Goss gave yet another eloquent speech, pointing out the excellence of our trainers, jockeys and horses at international level.
The Ernie Duffield Memorial Trophy for the KZN based trainer with the most wins in KZN went to runaway National Champion trainer, Mike de Kock, who was given a standing ovation and as always thanked his whole team including his chief assistants Nathan Kotzen and John Buckler as well as Tammy Dawson, his jockeys Kevin Shea and Anthony Delpech, his pre-trainer his wife Diane and his grooms.
The Anita Akal Special Award went to Felix Coetzee, who also received generous applause.
Coetzee earned the quote of the night when saying at the end of his speech, “I would like to thank all the horses I’ve ever been associated with.”
The KZN Owner of the Year, based on Stakes earned in KZN, went to Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who is de Kock’s chief patron.
The award for the person having gone out of his or her way to support the industry was presented to David Thiselton for his tireless journalistic work.