The Jim Boyle-trained Peace Prevails was last night named as the Moss Electrical Epsom Horse of the Year at the 21st running of the glittering Owners and Trainers Awards at Epsom Downs racecourse, organised by Racing Welfare. Owned by Epsom Equine Spa Partnerships and Mark Aljoe, the 4yo filly is sitting on a 42% strike rate for the season, notching up three wins from seven runs this year. The win marked a double on the night for Jim Boyle, whose Inside Track Racing Club-owned Hataya took to the award in the four year old and over category – Best Older Horse – sponsored by the Racehorse Owners Association.
Hosted by Hayley Moore and Martin Kelly, the Owners and Trainers Awards celebrate the achievements of Epsom’s racing community throughout the year and are made up of both points-based awards and those judged by a panel. In charge of deciding on the award winners this year were of Rishi Persad, Howard Wright and Andrew Cooper.
The awards cover a range of categories across the board with this year’s winners were as follows:
The Special Recognition Award is designed to reward the efforts of a horse whose competitive efforts may otherwise slip under the radar. This year’s recipient was the game two year old filly Epsom Filly, trained by Pat Phelan, whose first four runs of her career have seen her record two wins and a second for the Epsom Racegoers No2 syndicate.
This year’s Sir David Prosser Award for Epsom’s leading trainer was presented to Michael Attwater, whose successful season saw him regain the title, having last won it in 2017.
This year’s winner of the Stanley Wooton Award was Karen Latchford, secretary and senior work rider to Simon Dow. The trophy recognises outstanding merit on behalf of Epsom as a racing and training centre and Karen epitomises the spirit of the award fully. The stead in which Karen is held by the racing community was evident on the night, with the whole room getting to their feet to give her a standing ovation as she took to the stage.
Perhaps the most emotional moment of the evening came from Racing Welfare’s Lifetime in Racing Award. The trophy was one of eight of given out by the charity in different regions around the country this year and this time recognised a true sporting icon in the form of Geoff Lewis. On hand to present the award were Ian and Andrew Balding, who gave Geoff the beautiful bronze horse-head trophy during an emotional exchange of memories, with both Ian and Geoff recalling the success they shared together through horses like Mill Reef.
Geoff Lewis receives his Racing Welfare Lifetime in Racing Award from Ian and Andrew Balding (photo courtesy of Paul Taylor)
Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, spoke of the community spirit in the town during her opening speech on the night, saying,