O’Brien lands Champion Colt and Filly

Danny O’Brien last night swept the three-year-old categories at Australian Racehorse Of The Year Awards at Crown Palladium with Star Witness and Shamrocker being named Champion Colt and Filly.

The multiple Group 1 winners were both purchased by O’Brien following his stringent yearling selection process in 2009.

“It’s a thrilling result for our owners to receive these awards and it’s very satisfying to have purchased and trained both outstanding horses,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien paid tribute to his loyal staff following last night’s victory and the trainer also highlighted his metropolitan stables and private training facility at Barwon Heads as catalysts behind the awards.

“We have spent much time ensuring we have world class facilities that give every horse under our care the best possible chance of reaching their potential and getting results like these is very pleasing.”

Shamrocker polled 231 votes to runaway with the Champion Filly award in a season which saw her become the first filly in history to win both the Australian Guineas and Australian Derby. Added to her two Group 1 victories, were three placings at the top level which included courageous seconds in both the VRC and AJC Oaks, and a third placing in the Rosehill Guineas.

Star Witness laid claim to the title of Champion Colt with 150 votes thanks largely to his electrifying victory in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington. A week later he stepped out down the straight course again to run a gutsy second to superstar mare Black Caviar in the Patinack Classic.

In the Autumn, Widden Stud purchased a controlling share in the stunning colt before he embarked on a Royal Ascot campaign which saw him run second in the King’s Stand Stakes and third in the Golden Jubilee. The horse was then retired and he is now serving his first book of mares at Widden, which includes a glamour mating with 2007 Champion Racehorse of the Year, Miss Andretti.

Photo supplied by Racing Victoria Limited