By Racing NSW staff
1. Redzel (The Everest)
A bumper crowd of 33,512 turned out to Royal Randwick to watch Redzel win the inaugural running of The Everest and collect the lion’s share of the $10 million prize pool. The five-year-old parked himself outside of the leader before booting clear at the 300m. Chautauqua flashed home for fourth but there is a new top dog in Australia’s sprinting ranks. A teary Peter Snowden exclaimed, “This is the best by far our best result. Our first Golden Slipper was exceptional, I didn’t think I’d ever get that feeling again but today is well past it.”
Redzel winning The Everest
2. Chautauqua (TJ Smith Stakes)
"Chautauqua very late. Can he do it? He's flying. Yes!" caller Darren Flindell roared. In one of the most stirring wins you’ll ever see on a race track the ‘Grey Flash’, as he is widely known, sprouted wings to take out his third straight TJ Smith Stakes win, reeling in English on the line. The more you watch the replay the more remarkable the win becomes. Eight months on and still not sure how he did it…
Chautauqua doing the unthinkable
3. Winx (George Ryder Stakes)
You have to wonder how close Winx was to never going around in the George Ryder Stakes in the Heavy 10 conditions. As it turns out she produced one of her most brilliant wins to date and arguably her most dominant. She went past multiple Group One-winner Le Romain like he was standing still and left Chautauqua eating mud. She won by 7.3L and did it with a gear still in hand. The mighty mare delivered so many highlights over the course of the year.
Winx is "simply the best"
4. Chloe’s Puppet (Heavenly win)
“There will be no better win in Australasia today,” country caller Alan Hull beamed after Chloe’s Puppet’s number came into the frame at Wagga. It was the mare’s first race under Robert Anderson after he took over training duties from his wife Trish when she succumbed to cancer. At $51 Chloe’s Puppet was an outside chance and with 100m to go she looked beaten, but she lifted prompting declarations of a sign from heaven. Chloe’s Puppet is named after Robert and Trish’s daughter while long-time family friend, Brad Clark, rode her.
Chloe’s Puppet delivering an emotional win
5. She Will Reign (Golden Slipper)
In what has to be considered one of the rides of the year, Ben Melham pinched ground in the Golden Slipper to deliver a fairy tale win for the large group of She Will Reign’s owners. It was the first foray into horse ownership for many of them too. The Gary Portelli-trained filly cost just $20,000 and collected $2 million for first place in what is the world’s richest juvenile race.
She Will Reign winning the Slipper
6. Winx (Chelmsford Stakes)
This was it. This was the day Winx’s winning streak was finally going to come to an end. That was the thought of the majority of punters as they saw Hugh Bowman scrubbing the champion mare along 600m from home in the Chelmsford Stakes. It was a cunning ride from Josh Parr on Red Excitement that almost brought her undoing, but as champions do, Winx found a way.
Winx maintaining her winning streak
7. Stoneyrise (Country Championships)
By the time Stoneyrise arrived at Dubbo Turf Club for the Western Region heat of the Country Championships, he’d travelled more than 600kms from Hungerford on the NSW/Queensland border. The Zariz gelding had enjoyed success at picnic races and his owner/trainer James Hatch thought he deserved a crack at some better races. Initially Stoneyrise wasn’t in the betting markets but as the story of the horse, literally from the back of Bourke, spread he shortened to $10. He was second last and stuck on the rails at the turn for home but Jake Pracey-Holmes, who had just returned from a spinal injury, found a way out and they flew down the outside to steal victory and the show.
Stoneyrise taking out the Dubbo qualifier
8. Graham Clan (Creating history)
It wasn’t a particular race but we had to include the incredible feat of the Graham family who created history at Port Macquarie back in May when a father, son and daughter all rode at the same meeting. Peter Graham was joined by son Jesse and 18-year-old daughter Cejay. For the record, Cejay beat her old man home in her race first ride holding a narrow 0.2L margin. Ultimately, bragging rights went to dad though with Peter booting home a winner in the fifth event aboard Cheljoe.
Cejay finished fourth in her first ride, Unique Miss
9. Trapeze Artist (Golden Rose)
All of the talk was about Menari heading into the Golden Rose yet he was upstaged in breathtaking fashion by unheralded stablemate Trapeze Artist. The son of Snitzel, for you guessed it, Gerald Ryan, romped home by 4.3L which is a record winning margin for the three-year-old Group One feature. His price did trim up from $91 into $41 before jump but it still came as a major shock to most.
Trapeze Artist - where did that come from?
10. Horsey McHorseface (Cult hero debut)
Outside of Winx, it was Bjorn Baker’s non-descript brown gelding Horsey McHorseface that grabbed the most international headlines. Not due to his ability, unfortunately, but his funny name which took inspiration from a public poll in Britain which named a research ship, Boaty McBoatface. He even made to America’s CNN. He ran third at Kembla Grange on debut, after much fanfare, before breaking his maiden three starts later at Cessnock.
Horsey McHorseface's Kembla debut behind Memes