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Chris Waller Claims Another Bart Cummings Medal

August 26, 2022

Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller snared his 12th Bart Cummings Medal on Thursday night, presented during NSW Racing’s Night of Champions at Royal Randwick.

The Bart Cummings Medal point score – honouring the legendary trainer who passed away just over seven years ago – is comprised of votes from leading Sydney racing journalists.

Chris Waller (pictured) was challenged by runner-up James McDonald for a major part of the season but eventually surged away to accumulate 95 points for the season.

James McDonald (75 points), who was also last year’s runner-up, came in second with Hugh Bowman finishing third on 54 points.

“Chris Waller and his dedicated team continue to set new benchmarks not just in New South Wales racing but on the world stage, as evident by the stable’s achievements with Nature Strip,” said Mr Peter V’landys AM, Racing NSW’s Chief Executive.

“Chris’ achievements are unparalleled by anyone in any sport and to say they are extraordinary would be an understatement. Racing is very lucky not only to have this champion trainer in NSW but for the enormous effort he goes to promote the industry both in Australia and internationally.

“Chris and his stable continually showcase our racing industry and they must be congratulated on winning the prestigious Bart Cummings Medal and TJ Smith award.”

Waller collected the TJ Smith Award for Sydney’s leading trainer, finishing the 2021/22 season with 154 winners. Runner-up was Godolphin’s James Cummings (60 wins) for the fifth consecutive occasion. Other award winners were:

James McDonald claimed his sixth George Moore Award for winning the Sydney Jockeys’ Premiership with 105 wins for the season finishing well clear of Hugh Bowman (74 wins). McDonald had previously won the 2013/14 (72 wins), 2015/16 (89½), 2018/19 (104), 2019/20 (103.5) and 2020/21 (131) titles.

Tyler Schiller took out his first Theo Green Award for leading Sydney apprentice with 45 wins for the season. He continues a four-year run for his master Mark Newnham, following title wins by Tom Sherry (2020/21) and Robbie Dolan (2018/19 & 2019/20). Reece Jones was runner-up with 38 winners.

The remaining Racing NSW award winners were: –

Danny Williams (Caryl Williamson NSW Racing Writers’ Personality of the Year): “Danny has always been known as a horseman and those skills were on show with Shelby Sixtysix’s fairytale run to success in the Galaxy during the autumn. A horse with feet problems, he was finally able to show his best as he went from being beaten in a Class 2 Highway to a Group 1 winner in the space of a couple of months. Danny, a quiet and considered man, embraced the attention that came his way from the media. With every run there was more interest and Danny didn’t miss an interview and gave a great insight into his highlight in racing.”

Ian Smith (Sydney Strapper of the Year – Annabel Neasham stable): The stable said: “Ian (known as ‘Ginger’) works for various stables on racedays, particularly for the country and provincial trainers who don’t have sufficient staff to send to the races. During COVID restrictions the role of the raceday strapper came into its own, with Ian not just strapping on raceday but often standing in for trainers. He is a skilled horseman who can handle any horse and is always extremely professional. He’s also a thorough gentleman and greets everyone with a smile. Ian looks out for everyone and is always ready to lend a hand to anyone in need. His horsemanship, his easy-going demeanour and his generous attitude have earnt him great respect far and wide.”

Mazu (BOBS Horses of the Year): The gelding by Maurice (Jpn) scored just one victory in his first five starts before stringing together six sizzling wins in succession including one at Group 1 level. His $90,000 in BOBS bonuses secured him the title and now sees Mazu as a serious contender for this year’s $15 million The TAB Everest in October.

Michael Callanan (Inaugural ‘Behind the Scenes Hero’ award): Mr Peter V’landys AM said: “Michael is Vice-Chairman of the NSW Trainers Association and Chairman of RICG and has contributed significantly to growing the industry in NSW. In addition, Michael has offered his legal expertise to many industry participants in their time of need at no charge spending countless hours on their matters. He is a thorough gentleman, revered in the industry and there would not be a more worthy recipient of this award.”

NSW Racehorse Owners award winners were: –

Fireburn (Arrowfield NSW Two-year-old of the Year)
Anamoe (Inglis NSW Three-year-old of the Year)
Nature Strip (ATC NSW Champion Sprinter)
Verry Elleegant (Wild Oaks NSW Champion Miler)
Think it Over (Woppitt Bloodstock NSW Champion Middle Distance Horse)
Verry Elleegant (Highclere & Sire Custodians NSW Champion Stayer)
Hinged (Carrazzo Consulting NSW Queen of the Autumn)
Shelby Sixtysix (Sky Thoroughbred Central NSW Champion Country Horse)
Think it Over (TAB NSW Champion Provincial Horse)   
Nature Strip (Gow-Gates Insurance NSW Champion Horse of the Year)

Final standings for the 2021/22 Bart Cummings Medal: –

95 – Chris WALLER
75 – James McDONALD
54 – Hugh BOWMAN
41 – Nash RAWILLER
35 – Tommy BERRY
34 – Jason COLLETT
29 – Tim CLARK
25 – Dylan GIBBONS
23 – Reece JONES, Kerrin McEVOY
20 – Bjorn BAKER, Gai WATERHOUSE/Adrian BOTT

By Mark Brassel, Racing NSW.

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