13 August 2014
Sentiment versus performance will be the question facing the panel of judges tasked with selecting the Horse Of The Year to be named at the 2014 Equus Awards next Wednesday at Emperors Palace.
The awards panel also face a stiff task in selecting the winner of many other categories, and there is sure to be further animated debate among racing fans when the names of the winners are announced next week.
The two-year-old awards could be the toughest to judge as there is no obvious winner in either the colts or fillies categories.
Afrikaburn beat Harry’s Son in the Grade 1 Golden Horseshoe but the roles were reversed in the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes. Guiness won the Grade 1 Gold Medallion over 1200m at Scottsville but was beaten by the other two in the Golden Horseshoe.
The fillies have a similar problem with the nominees including Alboran Sea, Bilateral, Carry On Alice and Same Jurisdiction.
The three-year-old colt award is also tricky as you have a horse who won three Grade 1 races, including the Vodacom Durban July, in Legislate, as well as Louis The King, who won the SASCOC Triple Crown. It is not an easy feat to achieve, winning three top races over 1600m, 1800m and 2450m, in the space of two months.
You also have Futura in that list and he beat older horses well over 1800m at Greyville, setting a course record in the process.
The three-year-old fillies nominated - Along Came Polly, Athina and In The Fast Lane - have all won Grade 1 events but perhaps the best case can be made for Along Came Polly, who won the Grade 1 Empress Club Stakes, beating older fillies and mares.
The award every owner wants to win is the Horse Of The Year. The winner of any category is eligible and there are a number of options. The sentimental choice would probably be Beach Beauty but at the end of the day it could come down to Legislate and Yorker as both have won three Grade 1 races this season.
Alboran Sea (AUS), Bilateral, Carry on Alice, Majmu (AUS), Same Jurisdiction
Afrikaburn, Guiness, Harry’s Son (AUS)
Along Came Polly, Athina, In the Fast Lane
Three-Year-Old Colt / Gelding
Futura, Legislate, Louis The King
Older Filly / Mare (four+)
Beach Beauty, Via Africa
Older Male (four+)
Capetown Noir, Copper Parade, Hill Fifty Four, King of Pain, Yorker
Sprinter (1000m - 1200m)
Copper Parade, Fly by Night, Via Africa
Miler (1400m - 1600m)
Beach Beauty, Capetown Noir, King of Pain, Yorker
Middle-Distance (1800m - 2200m)
Beach Beauty, Futura, Hill Fifty Four, Legislate, Louis the King, Yorker
Hot Ticket, Louis The King, Wavin’ Flag
Horse Of The Year
To be awarded following final voting.
Extract from Tab News