VOTE | Who gave the most outstanding performance at Ellerslie in the 2020/21 season?

Each season we ask our friends to vote for who they think is worthy of the title "Outstanding Performance of the Year".

This season, we have five finalists (listed below) in this category which is part of the 2020/21 Ellerslie Awards.

Each finalist has been selected by our Executive General Manager - Racing & Operations, Craig Baker, with his decision based on their remarkable effort to achieve victory.

Current members of the Auckland Racing Club, eDM subscribers OR fans of our social media accounts are entitled to one vote each.

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

  • You may only vote once - multiple votes will result in disqualification

  • Voting closes at 5pm, Wednesday 26 May - so get in quick!

The winner, along with all other 2020/21 Ellerslie Award Winners, will be announced on Awards Raceday, Saturday 5 June, in the Takanini Room (open for Club members and their guests).

Outstanding Performance of the Year 2020/21 finalists

The finalists, complete with Craig's comments on their performances, are below and listed in chronological order of their nominated performance:


In the: Sistema Railway

On: Friday, 1 January 2021

This year’s Sistema Railway was built up as a match race between Avantage and the "promising mare with the whirlwind finish", Levante. With a long season ahead of her, the Te Akau stable was open in saying that Avantage was not completely screwed down for the G1 sprint feature. However, that didn’t stop the flow of money, with Avantage starting the $2.10 favourite.

Because of the concern that she wasn’t 100% fit, this author went with Levante. How wrong!

From a good barrier, Opie Bosson was able to position Avantage in the trail, hook out on the corner, and kick away in the straight to beat Julius with Levante roaring home for third.

Find out more about the SkyCity New Year's Day Races 2022 here


In the: Karaka Million 3YO Classic

On: Saturday, 23 January 2021

Like the Sistema Railway 22 days earlier, the Karaka Million 3YO Classic was built up as a match race between New Zealand’s best male racehorse in Aegon and New Zealand’s best female racehorse in Amarelinha.

In racing, match races are often built up on paper, but rarely play out. This one was different.

From a handy draw, Aegon was able to find a midfield position one off the fence.

Conversely, Amarelinha, who had drawn wide in eleven, raced three wide (outside of Aegon), albeit with cover. As they came to the turn, Leith Innes waited for runs and was able to push into the clear at the 300. When tackled by Amarelinha, Aegon fought hard to fend off the filly.

It was a classic race and highlighted the toughness and ability of Aegon.

Find out more about the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million here


In the: Sistema Stakes

On: Saturday, 13 March 2021

The word "wow" sprung to mind after watching Sword Of State dominate his rivals in the Group I two year old feature.

Opie Bosson was able to find the lead quite easily on Sword Of State with On The Bubbles sitting outside him.