Dubai Racing Club is pleased to announce the four finalists for the People’s Choice Award, a fan-voted accolade recognising the most compelling 2018 moment in horseracing. The award will be given at the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Horseracing Excellence Awards ceremony on the evening of March 28, 2019, two days prior to the richest day in global horseracing, the $35 million Dubai World Cup card. Voting will take place through February 28, 2019.
Please click HERE to vote or copy and paste the following link into an internet browser:
In its inaugural bestowing in 2017, the award went to Kei Chiong Ka-kei, who set the standard for female jockeys across the world by winning an unprecedented four races in one day in one of the world’s toughest riding environments, Hong Kong. Last year, it went to the team behind Lady Eli, who overcame life-threatening laminitis to become an American champion. This year’s finalists are:
He was game all the way to the wire in the 2018 Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (Group 1), but Gary Barber’s Peter Miller-trained Conquest Tsunami’s greatest accomplishment was not his narrow defeat in the 1200m turf dash in front of the Meydan Grandstand—it was actually making it to Dubai after what he went through only a few months earlier. The son of Stormy Atlantic was one of about 500 horses stabled at San Luis Rey Downs in Southern California when a lilac fire devastated the grounds, killing 46. Originally believed to be one of the casualties, he was later accounted for and further displayed his mettle and resilience with a brilliant win a couple months later in Grade 3 company. That victory necessitated a trip to Dubai, where he solidified those virtues against the very best.
2018 Al Quoz Sprint
EVE JOHNSON HOUGHTON
Winning any Group 1 race is an accomplishment as a trainer, but landing one at Royal Ascot is a triumph. The world’s premier race meeting of the summer is an incredibly difficult mountain to conquer, but Eve Johnson Houghton is no stranger to bridging great gaps of difficulty and her record and personal history speak to why her feat with Accidental Agent in the Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) meant so much. The leading female trainer in the UK in an industry dominated for centuries by men became just the fourth woman to saddle a domestic Group 1 winner. The win shed light on generations of gender disparity, while offering bittersweet consolation for her grandmother, Helen, who trained the winner of the classic English 2,000 Guineas in 1956, but credit for the win went to her male assistant, Charles Jerdein, as the ruling body refused to issue training licenses to women until a decade later.
She is the world’s most famous racehorse and top-rated in training. In 2019, she did what many believed was impossible when winning a fourth consecutive Cox Plate (Group 1) on October 27 in Australia. The context of said victory is what made it so impressive. She won it with utter dominance, laughing at a challenge from tri-continental Group 1 winner and Dubai Turf (Group 1) champion Benbatl, among others, while winning her 29thconsecutive race, of which 22 were at the Group 1 level. At the senior age of 7, the daughter of 2002 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry is Australia’s biggest equine star since Phar Lap, who conquered the hearts of racing fans worldwide from 1928-1932. She is nothing short of a living legend who put an exclamation point on that sentiment at Moonee Valley.
He is known around the world not only for his prowess in the saddle, but also his class as a sportsman. In 2018, jockey Yutaka Take achieved something that seemed impossible beforehand: after 30 years in the saddle, winning every race imaginable in his native Japan, his victories tallied up to a massive 4,000. He holds seven all-time records, is still riding at the top of his game and winning Group 1 races around the world. For a moment, though, in late September 2018, the impressive scope of his career’s body of work thus far made itself virtually palpable. The win came in his 21,235th ride and solidified his status as the greatest jockey and one of the top athletes in Japanese history.