Horses / Horse News

Nicci Garner
4 minute read
31 May 2017
11:37 am

Horse Of The Season and two other awards for Rafeef

Nicci Garner

The Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum-owned fouryear- old raced six times during the 2016-17 season.

CHAMPION. Rafeef was named Horse Of The Season as well as Champion Older Horse and Champion Sprinter when the RA Highveld Feature Season awards were handed out last night.

Rafeef got the highest accolade of all at the Highveld Feature Season Awards at Emperors Pal­ace last night when named Horse Of The Season for 2016-17.

The Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum-owned four-year-old raced six times during the 2016-17 season. The Mike de Kock team kept him finely tuned during the period under review to win four races, including the Grade 1 Computaform Sprint over 1000m and the Grade 2 Ha­waii Stakes over 1400m.

His contributions to the sea­son also included a fourth in the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m and a second to Irish Pride in the Wolf Power Handicap. The Australian-bred’s combined es­capades saw him also receive the Champion Sprinter and Cham­pion Older Horse awards.

Only one other horse received more than one award and that was Al Sahem.

Sean Tarry’s runner won the Grade 1 SA Derby and fin­ished second in both the Bet­ting World Gauteng Guineas and the SA Classic, behind Janoobi and Heavenly Blue respectively. However, Janoobi did not run in the SA Derby and Heavenly Blue was only third.

The award might be a bit controversial, but Al Sahem’s connections were handed the Champion Three-Year-Old Colt/ Gelding trophy and, as the only horse to win a Grade 1 race over a marathon distance, he was also named Champion Stayer.

The annual event is organised by the Racing Association, which is celebrating its 20th anniver­sary this year.

Both Tarry and De Kock went home with five trophies each.

The awards were decided by a panel that comprised Clyde Ba­sel, Vidrik Thurling and Robert Garner with Vee Moodley as the non-voting Chairman.

The award winners:

Horse Of The Season: Rafeef (Aus) – owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; trainer Mike de Kock; jockey Callan Murray; Arrowfield Group Pty Ltd, NSW & Klawervlei Stud.

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly:

Nominees: Daring Diva, Green Plains.

Winner: Green Plains – own­er Chris van Niekerk; trainer Sean Tarry; jockey S’manga Khu­malo; Gary Player Stud.

Champion Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding:

Nominees: Barrack Street, Mustaaqeem.

Winner: Mustaaqeem (Aus) – owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; trainer Mike de Kock; G1 jockey Callan Murray; Arrowfield Group Pty Ltd, NSW & Klawervlei Stud.

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly:

Nominees: Orchid Island, Smiling Blue Eyes, Wind Chill.

Winner: Orchid Island – owner Wilgerbosdrift (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mrs M Slack); trainer Mike de Kock; G1 jockey Anthony Delpech; Wilgerbosdrift & Mau­ritzfontein.

Champion Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding:

Nominees: Al Sahem, Heav­enly Blue, Janoobi

Winner: Al Sahem – owner Al Adiyaat South Africa; trainer Sean Tarry; G1 jockey Anthony Delpech; Al Adiyaat (Sheik Mo­hammed Bin Khalifa Al Mak­toum).

Champion Older Horse:

Nominees: Deo Juvente, Le­gal Eagle, Master Sabina, Nother Russia, Rafeef

Winner: Rafeef (Aus) – own­er Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; trainer Mike de Kock; jockey Callan Murray; Ar­rowfield Group Pty Ltd, NSW & Klawervlei Stud.

Champion Sprinter:

Nominees: Rafeef, Trip To Heaven

Winner: Rafeef (Aus) – own­er Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; trainer Mike de Kock; jockey Callan Murray; Ar­rowfield Group Pty Ltd, NSW & Klawervlei Stud.

Champion Middle-Distance Horse:

Nominees: Deo Juvente, Le­gal Eagle, Master Sabina, Nother Russia

Winner: Legal Eagle – owner Mayfair Speculators (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mr D L Brugman); trainer Sean Tarry; jockey Anton Mar­cus; Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm.

Champion Stayer:

Al Sahem, Fortissima, Hermo­so Mundo, Wind Chill

Winner: Al Sahem – owner Al Adiyaat South Africa; trainer Sean Tarry; G1 jockey Anthony Delpech; Al Adiyaat (Sheik Mo­hammed Bin Khalifa Al Mak­toum).

The human awards, which are based on a points system, will be presented to:

Work Rider Of The Season: Sam Mosia – Work Riders’ Chal­lenge champion.

Champion Apprentice: Lyle Hewitson – four feature wins.

Champion Breeder Of The Season: Varsfontein Stud.

Champion Jockey Of The Season: S’manga Khumalo – nine feature wins including three Grade 2s.

Champion Trainer Of The Season: Sean Tarry – 16 feature wins including two Grade 1s: Al Sahem in the SA Derby and Le­gal Eagle in the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes.

Champion Owner Of The Season: Mayfair Speculators (Nominee: DL Brugman) – four feature wins, including two Grade 1s: Deo Juvente in the Pre­mier’s Champions Challenge and Legal Eagle in the HF Oppenhe­imer Horse Chestnut Stakes.