Top award for Sea The Stars

Top award for Sea The Stars

Sea The Stars and his connections scooped the main honours at the annual Irish Horse Racing Awards in the Leopardstown Pavilion, Dublin.

Horse Racing Ireland hosted the event which saw Sea The Stars land 100% of the votes to pick up yet another 2009 Horse of The Year prize.

The colt was unbeaten in six Group Ones although just one of his victories, the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, came on home soil.

His trainer John Oxx won the Flat Award for his immense achievements not only with Christopher Tsui's colt but also with Alandi, winner of the Irish Field St Leger and the Prix du Cadran.

Jockey Mick Kinane was presented with the HRI's Contribution to the Industry Award.

Kinane retired from the saddle last week at the age of 50 and had been consistently representing Irish racing at the highest level around the world for over 30 years.

Champion Irish jumps trainer Willie Mullins won the National Hunt Award for the first time while the Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Kevin Prendergast, a leading figure in the industry for 40 years.

Derek O'Connor, who has once again rewritten the point to point history books in 2009, claimed the Point-to-Point Award for a third time.

In addition to the awards, champion Flat jockey Johnny Murtagh was thanked for his work as Flat Ambassador and received a presentation on the day.

Brian Kavanagh, HRI chief executive, said: "Despite the gloomy economic backdrop, 2009 was an outstanding year for Irish racing.

"Our Flat horses dominated the major races throughout Europe, and we saw a once-in-a-lifetime champion in Sea The Stars.

"Our National Hunt horses enjoyed great success at home and abroad and, as we look towards 2010, it is very pleasing to see that success continue in the major National Hunt races in recent weeks."

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