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Finalists Announced For NZ HOTY Awards
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has announced the finalists for five of the six racehorse categories at its annual Horse of the Year Awards, with finalists for Champion Jumper to be announced later this month. Matamata trainer Jamie Richards, 29, is in his first season as a solo trainer and prepares a quarter of the 20 flat finalists. The Te Akau Racing stable provides three of the four finalists – Aotea Lad, Probabeel and Yourdeel - in the 2YO section and will be represented by Melody Belle and Te Akau Shark in the sprinter-miler category. Melody Belle is also a middle-distance finalist. Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Lisa Latta, Tony Pike and Michael and Matthew Pitman are other trainers with more than one flat finalist. All finalists are eligible for the Horse of the Year title, which will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland, at the Ellerslie Racecourse, on Sunday, September 8. The flat racing finalists are:
- Champion 2YO: Aotea Lad, Aretha, Probabeel, Yourdeel.
- Champion 3YO: Crown Prosecutor, Madison County, Media Sensation, Sentimental Miss, Surely Sacred.
- Champion Sprinter-Miler (up to 1600m): Bostonian, Enzo's Lad, Melody Belle, Shadows Cast, Te Akau Shark.
- Champion Middle Distance (1601m to 2200m): Danzdanzdance, Melody Belle, On The Rocks, Savvy Coup.
- Champion Stayer (2201m and further): Five To Midnight, Glory Days, Rondinella.