The Sandy Lane Gold Cup winner of 2017 Dorsett was crowned Horse of the Year for 2017 at the Garrison Turf Awards held at the Island Inn hotel, Aquatic Gap, Bay Street on the weekend.
The USA imported animal had a decent year where he also won the Diamonds International Crown of Light Boxing Day Stakes And Trophy. In all the Robert Pierce-trained runner had won two races and had two seconds from eight starts and prize money earnings totalling $169,105 for 2017. Peirce collected the trophy in front a sizeable gathering.
Special guest and chairman of the National Sports Council Michael Power during his remarks noted that horse racing was a major tourist attraction in the island as thousands of tourists came to Barbados to watch the sport.
The Val Gale Award for the champion trainer was won by Victor Cheeseman for the fifth year in a row, equalling the late great William ‘Bill’ Marshall as the only trainer to win five such consecutive awards.
Cheeseman had a very outstanding year once again with his horses totalling $500 394 in prize money and his winning 27 races from 130 starts. His main money-earners were Northern Star who earned $126 291 and took the Blue Print Award for champion creole. Northern Star won the Tanglewood Stakes And Trophy, BTBA Breeders Sprint, The Barbados Super Lotto Breeders Classic and the Sale Graduates Champion Stakes among his six wins from seven starts in 2017. Northern Star’s dam Aquarius star took the Spa Ferry Award for the champion dam.
The talented trainer’s other big money gainer for the year was Fleurette who won five races from nine starts with earnings of $96,754. Fleurette won the Michael Parravicino Memorial Hopeful Stakes, The Grandstand PosseAnd Bubba Sports Bar Classic Trial and the Barbados Guineas. Fleurette took the Coo Bird Award for champion three-year-old.
The Liquid Bliss Award for champion two-year-olds was won by Stealin. The bay filly had an undefeated two-year-old season winning three races in a row. The daughter of Zwick and Bossa Nova won the Double Draw, Mega 6 Juvenile Breeders StakesAnd Trophy before taking the Boxing Day Nursery Trophy as her major races.
The Chally Jones Award went to Rickey Walcott. Walcott who won the Barbados Guineas with Fleurette, his biggest win of the year and the Spa Sprint Trophy astride Wild Cat and then sealing off an outstanding year with Stealin taking the two stakes victories on the champion two-year-old. Walcott won 30 races in 114 starts.
The Byron Clarke Champion Apprentice Award went to Jarelle Beckles. Beckles rode with a cool head to win 18 races for the year and was fourth in the jockey standings.
The M E R Bourne Award went to Gay Smith. The English owner won 10 races from 103 starts and $225 994 with Butterfly her best performer winning the Massy United Derby.
The Mentone Champion Imported Award went to Infrared. The chestnut son of Discreetly Mine won four races from 10 starts and was disqualified once.
Janak won the Happy Boy Award for champion sire for the fifth year in a row.