New award for Australian exports

Australia’s top performing thoroughbred exports will be recognised for the first time with a new award at the 2009 Australian Racehorse of the Year and Hall of Fame Awards.

The Aushorse Marketing Champion Australian-bred International of the Year Award is based on performances by an Australian bred horse trained by a trainer licensed outside of Australia or New Zealand.

The award for performances in countries other than Australia or New Zealand during the 2008-09 racing season will be voted upon by members of the racing media and national administrators.

There have been a number of outstanding performances by Australian bred horses in Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, UK and South Africa so far this season.  While the finalists for this award have not yet been announced, likely contenders include Sacred Kingdom, Singapore sprint sensation Rocket Man, Hong Kong international sprint hero Inspiration and South African G1 winning three-year-old Le Drakkar.

Sacred Kingdom, bred in Victoria by Noel and Andrew Calvert at Kornong Stud, was sold for $200,000 at the 2005 Melbourne Inglis Premier Sale.  The world champion sprinter can tighten the reins on the award when he lines up for the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in England this Saturday.

The Encosta De Lago-Courtroom Sweetie gelding, trained in Hong Kong by Ricky Yiu, has already won the G1 Singapore KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) defeating Rocket Man and the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) in Hong Kong this season.

Chief Executive Officer of Aushorse, Peter McGauran said, “Australia’s racing and breeding industries are entering a new era of global success with Australian racehorses taking all before them around the world.  The decades spent transforming Australia into a truly international breeding industry has paid dividends with 1,800 racehorses and broodmares exported annually to numerous racing countries.

“Australian horses have built a deserved reputation for affordability, speed, toughness, and an ability to adapt to all conditions. The acclaimed international success of Australian bred champions only serves to highlight the strength of the scale and scope of the Australian breeding industry and we are keen to honor our overseas ambassadors through this award. “

“The winner of this award will face strong competition from year to year as more and more Australian bred horses successfully compete on the international stage.”

The Australian Racehorse of the Year and Hall of Fame Awards will take place at the Palladium at Crown, Melbourne on Monday, August 31.