Willie Mullins and Aidan O’Brien among Horse Racing Ireland Awards nominees

Willie Mullins and Aidan O’Brien among Horse Racing Ireland Awards nominees

The nominations have been made for the Horse Racing Ireland Awards.

There are 35 nominees from across the Irish racing industry this year, an increase of nine compared to last year.

The 2019 Ride of the Year contenders will be chosen by Pat Smullen and Barry Geraghty and announced next week. A public vote will decide the winner.

The six nominations for Horse of the Year are dual Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll, Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo, Kemboy, successful at the Aintree and Punchestown festivals, three-time Hatton’s Grace winner Apple’s Jade and multiple Group 1 winners on the Flat, Magical and Iridessa.

Trainers Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Henry De Bromhead and jockeys Rachael Blackmore and Paul Townend are nominated in the National Hunt Award category. The Flat Award nominees are trainers Aidan O’Brien, Jessica Harrington, Ger Lyons and Joseph O'Brien and jockeys Donnacha O'Brien and Colin Keane.

Jessica Harrington pictured with Paddy Kennedy in February.
Jessica Harrington pictured with Paddy Kennedy in February.

There are six nominees for the Flat Achievement Award: Ken Condon for his success with Group 1 Prix du Jacques le Marois winner Romanised, Shane Crosse who improved on last season’s tally and rounded off the year with three Group 3 winners, Seamie Heffernan who landed the biggest win of his remarkable career in the Epsom Derby on Anthony Van Dyck, Denis Hogan for his handling of Make A Challenge, the winner of six races during the season, Wayne Lordan for his association with the fillies Hermosa and Iridessa and Matthew Smith who created Galway festival history and was a winner on Longines Irish Champions Weekend with One Cool Poet.

The four nominees for the National Hunt Achievement Award are: Jamie Codd who became the winning-most amateur at the Cheltenham Festival, Gavin Cromwell who landed his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival with the record-breaking Espoir D’Allen, Tony Martin for his continued success in the Guinness Galway Hurdle and Davy Russell who became the first Irish-based jockey to win consecutive renewals of the Aintree Grand National.

The Point-to-Point category is made up of Colin Bowe, Sam Curling, Barry O’Neill and Maxine O’Sullivan. A new category this year is the Emerging Talent Award and the nominees are Point-to-Point handler Peter Flood, joint-champion apprentice jockey Andrew Slattery, Joey Sheridan who rode 20 winners in his first season and Darragh O'Keeffe who rode out his claim this month and occupies second place in the jockeys’ championship.

The awards will be presented early next month.

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