Sundons Gift won this year's Victorian Horse of the Year award
Champion trotter Sundons Gift tonight carved another piece of history when he was named the 2010 Victorian Horse of the Year.
The Chris Lang-trained superstar joined Maori’s Idol, True Roman, Noopy Kiosk and Knight Pistol as the only squaregaiters to have won the award inaugurated in 1973 when he was announced this year’s at a function at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
The son of Sundon upstaged pacing stars Smoken Up, Make Mine Cullen and Villagem when rewarded for a season that he came the first Australian-trained trotter to crack $1 million in stakes.
From 13 starts during 2009/10, he won nine times and placed twice for $494,670 in stakes.
Among those wins was a second straight Inter Dominion final – another first by an Australian trotter – while he also became the first horse to win the Australian Trotting Grand Prix three years in a row.
He also conquered New Zealand’s best in the Group 1 Rowe Cup and won the Group 1 Sunnyfield Trotters Mile at Menangle on Inter Dominion Pacing Championship grand final day.
It was one of two awards for Sundons Gift, who was once again crowned the Victorian Trotter of the Year. It was the third consecutive year that he has won that award.
But not all of tonight’s awards went the way of Sundons Gift with Royal Verdict and Aussie Made Lombo winning their respective two-year-old categories.
The Ian Dornauf-trained Royal Verdict was rewarded for a dream season that saw him become only the second colt behind Lombo Pocket Watch to claim the Breeders Crown-Australian Pacing Gold-Vicbred Super Series treble, while Jayne Davies-trained filly Aussie Made Lombo, a daughter of Tailamade Lombo, failed to miss a place in 19 starts.
Alex Douglas-trained squaregaiter Chateau De Ville won the 2YO Trotter of the Year award for a consistent season, the highlight of which was Vicbred Super Series success.
Rostevarren won an award for the second year running, backing up victory in last year’s 2YO Trotter of the Year with victory in this year’s three-year-old award.
The other three-year-old trophies headed across the Tasman. Australian Oaks and Breeders Crown champion De Lovely won the fillies’ award, while Victoria Derby hero Courage To Rule took out the colt or gelding award.
The Kiwis were eligible under the Horse of the Year criteria, which takes into account performances by interstate or international horses in Victoria only. Victorian-trained horses are judged by their performances anywhere in the world.
Last season’s outstanding trainers and drivers were also officially recognised at the function. Remarkably, the awards went to the same people that won last year.
Gavin Lang won the metropolitan drivers’ premiership for the third year running, while Lance Justice was the metropolitan trainers’ premiership winner for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
Daryl Douglas received the Victorian drivers’ premiership for the fifth straight year with his brother Glenn a winner of the Victorian trainers’ premiership for the third year in a row.
Below is a list of tonight’s award winners:
Victorian Horse of the Year – Sundons Gift
Victorian Trotter of the Year – Sundons Gift
Victorian 2YO Pacing Colt / Gelding of the Year – Royal Verdict
Victorian 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year – Aussie Made Lombo
Victorian 2YO Trotter of the Year – Chateau De Ville
Victorian 3YO Pacing Colt / Gelding of the Year – Courage To Rule
Victorian 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year – De Lovely