Apache Chase was a $50,000 Magic Millions March sale graduate from the Eureka Stud draft, selling to owner Michael Sherrin.
Group 1 champion Apache Chase has been crowned Queensland Horse of the Year at the 2022 TAB Queensland Thoroughbred Awards. The Desleigh Forster-trained gelding enjoyed a highly consistent and captivating 2021/22 season, winning four of nine starts, headlined by the Group 1 TAB Kingsford Smith Cup. It was the second year in a row that the winner of the Kingsford Smith Cup had gone on to win the state’s highest honours, following Vega One’s triumph in 2021. Apache Chase started the season in scintillating style by winning the Listed Weetwood Handicap, before putting the writing on the wall for bigger things to come with a highly creditable fourth in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill behind multiple Group 1 winner I’m Thunderstruck. The four-year-old rounded out the season with victory in the $250,000 The Gateway, before placings in the Magic Millions Cup and the inaugural The Archer culminated in a stunning all-the-way win in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup. He was also named Queensland 4YO and Older Horse of the Year at tonight’s Awards.
James Orman enjoyed a breakout season in the saddle, being crowned the George Moore Queensland Jockey of the Year, whilst claiming a maiden Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership with 78.5 winners – including four black-type successes – as well the Queensland Jockeys’ Premiership (139.5 wins). Tony Gollan continued his stranglehold on the Jim Atkins Trainer of the Year Award, taking home the major honour for the ninth straight year. Gollan saddled up 135 winners across the state, the most of any trainer, whilst also claiming the Metropolitan Trainers’ Premiership with 90 victories. Rising star Kyle Wilson-Taylor was named the Sky Racing Ken Russell Queensland Apprentice of the Year, in a season that saw him chalk up 61.5 winners, finishing third behind Orman and Jim Byrne in the Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership.
Racing Minister Grace Grace was on hand to open the evening and present the Racing Queensland Student of the Year Award to Central Queensland apprentice Jade Doolan. “The TAB Queensland Thoroughbred Awards is a fantastic evening for the industry, acknowledging the champions of our sport – both human and equine,” she said. “The season gone has unearthed the next generation of local stars, and it is fitting to see more than 400 people here at Brisbane City Hall to acknowledge those achievements. “Congratulations to all winners, and also those who were nominated, and I look forward to another stellar Queensland thoroughbred racing season.”
The Kacy Fogden-trained Best Of Bordeaux was bestowed the 2YO Horse of the Year title after winning both the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes and Group 2 Silver Slipper in his first two starts, before finishing a brave second in the Group 1 Golden Slipper. David Vandyke’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks winner Gypsy Goddess edged out an unbelievably strong field – including Startantes and Prince Of Boom – to claim the 3YO Horse of the Year. before taking the Group 1 feature during the TAB Queensland Racing Carnival, the filly was placed in both the Group 1 ATC Oaks and Vinery Stud Stakes in NSW, also earning her a nomination for Horse of the Year.
Chatty Lady (Spirit of Boom) capped off a brilliant season for Toowoomba-based trainer Mark Currie, being crowned the QTIS Horse of the Year after claiming four QTIS-affiliated races throughout the season and more than $100,000 in QTIS bonuses. “The strength of Queensland racing at present is clear as ever, with three homegrown Group 1 winners nominated for the top award,” Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said. “Apache Chase’s season has shown that he remains one of the state’s most consistent gallopers, and this award is thoroughly deserving following his thrilling victories in the Kingsford Smith Cup and Weetwood Handicap. “Queensland continues to unearth some genuine stars of Australian racing, highlighted by the scintillating form of our local gallopers in Victoria at present, and we look forward to what’s to come over the next 12 months.”
The night also saw six inductees into the Queensland Racing Hall of Fame, for their outstanding contribution to the industry – Highland (horse), Starcraft (horse), Tony Erhart (jockey), Pat Duff (trainer), Sir Clive Uhr (associate), and Sir Edward Williams (associate).
ARTICLE: RACING QUEENSLAND