Toowoomba sprinter Spirit Of Boom was crowned the Carlton Draught Horse Of The Year at the Gold Coast Racing Industry Awards on Friday, July 27.
Trained by Tony Gollan, Spirit Of Boom beat a strong field of contenders for the 2011/12 award which included brilliant Brisbane two-year-old Sizzling, Gold Coast sprinter Celtic Dancer, New Zealand mare Shez Sinsational, Magic Millions Classic winner Driefontein and top Gold Coast filly Punch On.
Spirit Of Boom clinched the award after his two feature race victories at the Gold Coast during last January’s Summer Carnival.
The four-year-old won the $100,000 Carlton Draught Goldmarket Handicap 1300m on January 2 and backed up at his next start to land the $400,000 R M Williams Magic Millions Cup 1400m on January 14.
Spirit Of Boom continued his fine summer form into the Queensland Winter Carnival, finishing fourth at Group 1 level behind Sea Siren in the Doomben 10,000 in May.
Toowoomba trainer Tony Gollan accepted the trophy on behalf of the Spirit Of Boom team at the awards ceremony at the Gold Coast Turf Club.
“This horse gave us all some great moments here at the Gold Coast this year and we are thrilled to win this prestigious award,” he said.
“He’s come back very well after his break and will be heading to Melbourne over the Spring where we hope he can break through to win his first Group 1.”
Spirit Of Boom becomes the 26th winner of the award first introduced by the GCTC in 1987.
Several other awards were presented on the night.
The Bruce Hill-trained Brigadoon Jack was crowned the H Harvey Prestige Gold Coast Horse Of The Year.
This award is presented to the horse judged to be the best of 12 monthly award winners during the season.
Brigadoon Jack won two monthly awards (in May and June) after stringing together four successive Gold Coast victories in that period.
The Gold Coast Turf Club Premiership Horse Of The Year was taken out by the Les Kelly-trained Go Kingpin. The award is judged on a points basis taken over the entire season with seven points awarded for each win, three points for a second placing and one point for a third.
Go Kingpin collected 35 premiership points after four wins, two seconds and a third.
This season’s Gold Coast premiership winners also collected their awards last night.
Dan Griffin has won a record sixth straight Attwood Marshall Lawyers Jockeys’ Premiership with 49 winners and Tegan Harrison became the first female rider to win the GCTC apprentices’ title with 29.5 winners.
Helen Page won her first Bundaberg Rum Gold Coast trainers’ premiership with 24 winners, ending John Morrisey’s three-season title run.
Page’s acceptance speech was one of the highlights of the evening as she called up her stable staff to join her on stage.
“You can’t win a premiership without great staff like I have,” she said.
Meanwhile, outstanding gallopers Snippets and Stylish Century were among 10 great racing names honoured on Friday, July 27 when the Gold Coast Turf Club announced its first inductees into the Hall Of Fame.
The announcement of the foundation members of the Hall Of Fame was one of the highlights of last night’s Gold Coast Racing Industry Awards function at the GCTC.
“Gold Coast racing has produced many outstanding horses, jockeys, trainers and industry figures and the turf club believes the time is right to create our own Hall Of Fame,” said GCTC chairman Brett Cook.
“The list of possible Hall Of Fame contenders was vast and underlines just what a great nursery of racing talent the Gold Coast has been in the past and will continue to be.
“It was a tough decision to choose our first 10 from so many worthy names but I’m sure you will agree that each and everyone of tonight’s Hall Of Famers did so much on and off the track to put Gold Coast racing in the spotlight.”
Champion jockey Jim Cassidy was the special guest at last night’s function.
Cassidy, who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame earlier this year, joined racecaller and GCTC deputy chairman Steve Hawkins on stage to announce the 10 Hall Of Famers.
Two horses, two jockeys, three trainers and three racing associates were inducted.
The 2012 Gold Coast Hall Of Fame inductees are:
Snippets: the brilliant colt and future sire who won the inaugural Magic Millions Classic in 1987. The new Magic Millions concept needed a quality winner to boost its credibility and Snippets certainly delivered.
Stylish Century – awesome winner of the 1989 Golden Nugget over 1200m at the Gold Coast in course record time and extended that speed over longer distances next season to complete the AJC Champion Stks-Victoria Derby double.
Mick Dittman: known as ‘The Enforcer’, Dittman had a remarkable career after starting his apprenticeship on the Gold Coast in the late 1960s. He won 88 Group 1 races, including a Melbourne Cup, three Golden Slippers and two Cox Plates.
Ken Russell: dominated Gold Coast racing in the 1980s, including riding a record 76 winners in the 1980/81 season. He then left the Gold Coast to become one of Australia’s best riders before his tragic death in a fall in Sydney in 1993.
Jim Griffiths: one of Queensland’s greatest trainers, Griffiths moved to the Gold Coast in 1978. He produced a host of topliners during his career, including Spedito, Golden Khan, Gypsy Kingdom, Knee High and Cachondeo.
Greg Mance: won a record six straight Gold Coast trainers’ premierships from 1988/89 to 1993/94. His best horses in that time were Caulfield Cup winner Cole Diesel and Toorak Hcp and dual Grafton Cup winner Oppressor.
Alan Bailey: one of Queensland’s finest trainers over the past 30 years, Bailey has won 10 Gold Coast titles as well as several Brisbane premierships. Among his best horses have been Group One winner Juanmo and the fine sprinter Make Mine Magic.
Alan Hollindale: long-serving and respected GCTC chairman from 1969 to 1988.
Carl Waugh: successful breeder who played a major role in establishing the Golden Nugget series and later the Magic Millions concept on the Gold Coast.
Geoff Fanning: one of Australia’s finest track managers who spent 35 years with the GCTC before ill-health forced his retirement in 2008.
Story by Neil Archer