Day At The Track

Caribbean Blaster "Victorian Horse Of The Year"

01:39 PM 13 Sep 2013 NZST
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Caribbean Blaster
Caribbean Blaster

Caribbean Blaster has been named the 2012/13 Victorian Horse of the Year.

In a unanimous decision, the horse from Andy and Kate Gath's Long Forrest stable enjoyed a breakout season on the Grand Circuit which saw a string of Group 1 performances.

His win in the Victoria Cup will long be remembered as a triumph against adversity; starting from the extreme gate he was sent out a 30/1 chance but blew his rivals apart in the Tabcorp Park Melton straight.

Leaving champions Im Themightyquinn and Smoken Up in his wake, he continued his brilliant early season form which saw him unplaced only three times in 14 starts.

His Inter Dominion heat win was followed by an unlucky fifth in the Grand Final at Menangle.

Many might have thought that would see him out for the season, but that wasn't the case. He returned to Melton in the Hot To Trot Stampede and produced a breathtaking performance to defeat his rivals by over 10 metres in the 1200-metre dash.

Caribbean Blaster's season throughout 2012/13 demonstrated he has transformed into one of Australia's leading pacers.

With a racetrack return not far off, the son of Bettors Delight is sure to be mixing it in each of the Grand Circuit races he contests in the next 12 months.

Andy Gath spoke glowingly the morning after his superstar pacer received the honour.

"It's not something you train horses to do, win awards, but it's a massive thrill when it comes up," Gath said. "We didn't really think about it until the nominations came out and then we thought we actually might win Horse Of The Year.

"He'll come back this season and we all know how good he is, make no mistake there are some top horses out there like Bitobliss and Im Themightyquinn, it's just exciting to have our guy back next Friday."

For the second year running a two-year-old has taken the Trotter of the Year award.

Im Stately thoroughly dominated his juvenile squaregaiting rivals through the Vicbred Super Series and Breeders Crown.
His flawless gait and high cruising speed made him a joy for punters and participants to watch as he crushed his competition in the season's biggest races.

Last term's Trotter of the Year, Blitzthemcalder, took out the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year to make it consecutive wins in his age and gender category.

A winner of the Great Northern Derby in New Zealand, he continued to carve out brilliant times and made it clear that when he is on song, there aren't many better squaregaiters in the land.

The Industry Awards were also distributed for the participants who work tirelessly all year round and there weren't too many shocks.

Based on premiership results, the Victorian State Trainer of the Year was taken by the Sunraysia's leading light, Shayne Cramp.

Cramp took domination to a new level last season, training 155 winners at a strike-rate of over 30%.

He was joined by Lance Justice who took the award for the Leading Metropolitan Trainer, one win clear of Geoff Webster.
Chris Alford (Leading State Driver), Gavin Lang (Leading Metropolitan Driver) and Ellen Tormey (Leading Concession Driver) shared the honours driving honours for the past 12 months.

The full list of award winners on the night has been compiled below.

COMPLETE WINNERS LIST

Victorian Horse of the Year - Caribbean Blaster
Victorian Trotter of the Year - Im Stately
Aged Pacer of the Year - Caribbean Blaster
Aged Trotter of the Year - I Didnt Do It
Mare of the Year - Blucolla Tigerpie
2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Major Secret
2YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Mindarie Priddy
2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Im Stately
2YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Claudys Princess
3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Guaranteed
3YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Itz Nosurprisesthere
3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Blitzthemcalder
3YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Spidergirl
Victorian Trainer of the Year - Shayne Cramp
Metropolitan Trainer of the Year - Lance Justice
Victorian Driver of the Year - Chris Alford
Metropolitan Driver of the Year - Gavin Lang
Victorian Concession Driver of the Year - Ellen Tormey

Harness Racing Victoria

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