And the award goes to.....

As a part of the annual Ellerslie Awards, we look to you to help us decide who is worthy of the title "Outstanding Performance of the Year".

Our four finalists for this category from the 2017/18 season have been selected by our Executive General Manager – Racing & Operations, Craig Baker, and have made the list based on the inspiring effort they made to achieve their victory

Current members of the Auckland Racing Club OR fans of our Facebook page are entitled to vote.

To vote, send an email containing the name of the horse you wish to vote for to:

You may only vote once.

Voting closes at 4pm, Friday 2 November - so get in quick!

The nominees, complete with Craig's comments on their performances, are:

  • WISE MEN SAY | Irvines Great Northern Steeplechase – Irvines Great Northern Day, Saturday 9 September 2017 For the months leading up to this raceday, records levels of rain had fallen at Ellerslie Racecourse resulting in the track being the heaviest many could remember. However, this didn’t stop the Raymond-Connors trained, and Isaac Lupton-ridden, Wise Men Say powering away in the straight to win the time-honoured steeplechase by 12 ½ lengths. The staying performance required was highlighted by the fact that the 9:31.50 it took to run the race was the slowest time ever recorded for the Great Northern Steeplechase - a true example of perseverance. Watch here:

  • SCOTT BASE | Karaka Million 3Y0 Classic – New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million, Saturday 27 January 2018

Those that had backed Scott Base must have been feeling a touch apprehensive as the field ran past the 800-metre mark. At that stage, Scott Base was well back in the field, some 15 lengths from the leader. Even at the 200-metre mark, Scott Base looked too far back to triumph but with a phenomenal closing 200, he dashed home to grab favourite, Embellish, on the line. The race was run in a slick 1:33.43. Not surprisingly, Scott Base recorded the fastest last 800, 600, 400 and 200 metres of the race. Watch here:

  • JULIUS | Darley Stallions Plate – Vodafone Derby Day, Saturday 3 March 2018

You might be wondering why a Group 3 race has been included in this list? The reason is simply top class sprinter, Julius. The giant son of Swiss Ace sat just off the speed, peeled out on the turn and shot clear in the last 200 metres to record an easy win. What made this performance so great was the time Julius ran. The clock stopped at 1:08.32. To put that time in perspective, the current 1200-metre track record is 1:07.73 which was recorded in 1987 by top class sprinter, Diamond Lover. While we do not know for sure, it is likely that Julius’ time is the second fastest 1200-metre race run at Ellerslie. Electric speed! Watch here:

  • LADIES FIRST | Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup – Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day, Saturday 10 March 2018

It was not the winning margin that secured Ladies First a place in the Outstanding Performance Of The Year category. It was the toughness that the mare showed to win. For the first 1400 metres of the 3200-metre race, Ladies First was trapped three wide without cover. It was only at the winning post the first time that she secured a position one off the fence. With the amount of work that Ladies First did in the first part of the race, you could understand if she started to tire in the concluding stages. Quite the contrary, she fought like a tiger all the way down the Ellerslie straight to win by a nose. Toughness personified! Watch here: