Inaugural Colin Alderson Rising Star Award finalists announced


Racing Victoria Staff@RacingInsider

22 August, 2016

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Racing Victoria (RV) has today unveiled the five finalists for the inaugural Colin Alderson Rising Star Award, which will be presented at the Scobie Breasley Medal featuring the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Awards this Thursday night, 25 August at Flemington Racecourse.

A joint initiative of RV and the Australian Trainers’ Association (ATA), the Colin Alderson Rising Star Award recognises a Victorian-based trainer with no more than seven racing seasons’ experience who has performed with distinction over the previous 12 months.

Nominees for the award must be aged no older than 40 at the conclusion of the racing season, and may be judged on their performances anywhere in the world throughout the 2015-16 racing season, commencing 1 August 2015 and concluding 31 July 2016 .

In a career that spanned almost half a century, Alderson enjoyed elite success on the track preparing 11 Group 1 winners including the 1999 Caulfield Cup with Sky Heights. He was considered a mentor to many emerging trainers throughout his career, and served the industry with distinction over three decades as a Committee member, Vice President, State and more recently, Federal President, of the ATA.

A panel that included members of the RV Handicapping team and the ATA nominated 10 eligible trainers to be considered for the award.

A separate panel of 50 voters, constituted by 42 members of the Victorian media, Victoria’s five racecallers, two members of RV’s handicapping panel and RV’s Chairman of Stewards, Terry Bailey, were invited to submit votes for this award. The same panel votes on the Fred Hoysted and Victorian Racehorse of the Year awards.

The five finalists for the 2016 Colin Alderson Rising Star Award are those which amassed the most votes. They are listed follows:

1. Archie Alexander

Archie Alexander burst onto the Victorian training scene in September 2014, saddling Renew to win the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) just two months later with his 15th career starter. Alexander saddled 17 winners last season from his Ballarat base including two victories in South Australia.

2. Daniel Bowman

After learning the ropes under master trainers David Hayes, Tony McEvoy and Darren Weir; Daniel Bowman commenced a solo training career in October 2014, saddling his first winner – Jarrah Twist at Warrnambool – with just his third career starter. The 29-year-old has quickly risen through the training ranks to prepare five metropolitan winners last season including a double at Moonee Valley with Just Got Lucky and Society Man on 12 February.

3. Mitchell Freedman

Born into a racing family, though no relation to Hall of Fame horseman Lee, Mitchell Freedman cut his teeth in the racing caper with Darren Weir before embarking on a solo training career in 2013, saddling his first winner in November of that year. Freedman prepared 21 winners from his Warrnambool stable in a break-out 2015-16 season, including four at metropolitan level.

4. Wez Hunter

Wez Hunter commenced his training career in November 2010, taking just three years to win his first black-type race with Smokin’ Joey at Flemington in the G3 Stakes (1400m). Hunter has since tasted Group 1 success with his stable star in the 2014 The Goodwood at Morphettville. Hunter prepared 14 winners last season including two at metropolitan level.

5. Sam Pritchard-Gordon

Born and raised in the UK, Sam Pritchard-Gordon prepares a boutique team of gallopers out of his Kingscote Stables complex in Mornington. Pritchard-Gordon saddled his first winner, Allthekingshorses, at Benalla in 2011 and registered four metro winners last season — three of which came courtesy of his talented mare A Lotta Love.

The Colin Alderson Rising Star Award is just one of a number of coveted awards to be presented to racing’s stars this Thursday night, alongside the Scobie Breasley Medal, Fred Hoysted Medal, Tommy Corrigan Medal, Victorian Racehorse of the Year, and the Victorian Premiership Awards.

The VRMA Bert Wolfe Media Award, presented by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), will also be awarded, as will a number of Ferntree Gully Nissan Victorian Owners and Breeders Awards, presented by VOBIS, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) and Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners’ Association (TROA).

The Scobie Breasley Medal featuring the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Awards will be broadcast live and free on via free-to-air channel 78 (metropolitan areas), channel 68 (regional), Foxtel channel 529 and online, commencing at 9.00pm (AET).