Jockey Liz Lalor nominated in point to point category.
Tipperary trainers and jockeys are in the running for top recognition in the annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards.
Nominations have been announced with 26 stars of the racing industry in the running to win an award. RTE sports broadcaster Des Cahill will be master of ceremonies for the awards, which take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on Monday, December 5th.
Ballydoyle's Aidan O'Brien is shortlisted for the top flat award; double Grand National winner Mouse Morris is nominated for the Outstanding Achievement Award to be voted on by the public, as are trainer/jockey combination of brothers Joseph and Donncha O'Brien; and jockey Liz Lalor is nominated in the point to point category.
Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O'Brien nominated in flat category.
Awards are presented in seven categories: Horse of the Year, National Hunt Racing, Flat Racing, Point-to-Point Racing, Outstanding Achievement, Contribution to the Industry and Racecourse of the Year.
Four category winners are decided by a ballot of the Irish racing media – Horse of the Year, National Hunt, Flat and Point-to-Point.
Nominations for the Horse of the Year award include Annie Power, winner of the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival; Cheltenham Timico Gold Cup winner Don Cossack, who shared the title at the 2015 awards; unbeaten novice chase star Douvan; Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, Found; dual Derby winner Harzand; recent Breeders’ Cup winner, Highland Reel and Investec Oaks and QIPCO 1,000 Guineas winner, Minding.
Trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins and jockeys Jack Kennedy and Ruby Walsh are nominated in the National Hunt category.
The Flat nominees are trainers Aidan O’Brien and Dermot Weld and jockeys Seamie Heffernan and Pat Smullen.
The Point-to-Point category is made up of Enda Bolger, Jamie Codd, Wilson Dennison, Liz Lalor and Barry O’Neill.
Double Grand National winning trainer Mouse Morris, Everardsgrange, Fethard
The winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award is voted on by the Irish racing media and the general public through the HRI website or through forms available from HRI.
The nominees in this category, selected by the Irish racing media, include trainers Adrian Keatley, John Kiely, Mouse Morris and Kevin Prendergast. Jockey David Mullins has also been selected along with the Moyglare Stud Stakes winning trainer/jockey combination of brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien.
Mouse Morris from Everardsgrange outside Fethard created history by training the winners of both the Irish and Aintree Grand Nationals.
Even by his extremely high standards Aidan O'Brien had a truly remarkable year in 2016. There were 22 Group 1 wins worldwide along with a 1-2-3 in the Newmarket 1000 Guineas.
Even more incredibly, he managed the same 1-2-3 in the Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe which was not surprisingly an unprecedented achievement and is unlikely to be ever equalled. Champion Trainer in Ireland once again with 117 victories, he was also Champion Trainer in Great Britain with 13 Group 1 victories alone while at home, there was further Classic success with Seventh Heaven taking the Irish Oaks.
The brilliant Minding notched up five Group 1 victories (Newmarket 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, Pretty Polly Stakes, Nassau Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) while Alice Springs (Falmouth Stakes, Matron Stakes & Sun Chariot Stakes) was another top performer. Highland Reel gave him an 11th Breeders’ Cup success by winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf along with the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot while there was a French 2000 Guineas success with The Gurkha and Order Of St George won the Ascot Gold Cup.
The stable has some very promising juveniles to do battle in all the top races again next year with the likes of Churchill (National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes), Caravaggio (Coventry Stakes, Keeneland Phoenix Stakes) and Rhododendron (Fillies Mile) already successful at the top level in 2016.
Liz Lalor has been one of the leading lady riders on the Irish point-to-point circuit over the last ten years.
In a thrilling conclusion to the Ladies Title last season, the Tipperary native was at her very best to get Pops Well up to win by the narrowest of margins at Ballingarry on the final day of the season, bringing her to the six winner mark, and equal with Aileen O’Sullivan and Sheila Ahern, ensuring there was a three-way share of the title.
For Lalor, that was a fifth ladies title which leaves her just one title short of Carmel Connaughton’s six titles, as the most successful female point-to-point rider in the past 30 years.
Lalor has also had great success with her family owned and bred mare Carrigeen Acebo who was crowned Champion Mare for the second successive year. She has now won a total of 11 races aboard the grey daughter of Indian River, while it is also worth noting that Liz partnered this year’s Cheltenham Festival winner Mall Dini to victory in his bumper at Cork last year.