27 March 2021

Doyle, Bailey, Almond Eye Among Those Honoured During 2021 His Highness Horseracing Excellence Awards

Japanese super mare, Almond Eye, English star, Hollie Doyle and first Dubai World Cup winning jockey Jerry Bailey are among the winners of the annual His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Horse Racing Excellence Awards, during the historic 25th Dubai World Cup meeting – the world’s most spectacular race day.

Born from the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the awards are an effort to recognise top talent in the racing world. The five categories reflect HH Sheikh Mohammed’s tremendous commitment to sporting excellence, and his consistent effort to offer the international racing family a stage upon which to meet, compete and perform.

The Best Trainer, Jockey and Owner Awards pay tribute to exceptional worldwide performances in the period of review, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognises a career-long contribution to the industry and the People’s Choice Award gives a voice to fans of the sport.

The criteria to select the horse, jockey, trainer and owner to be awarded is substantially data driven, based on performances from Group 1 races tracked from the 2019 Dubai World Cup meeting.

The Winners

Japan’s richest and most successful horse Almond Eye was selected Best Horse, for her four Grade 1 victories, across 2019 and 2020. Notable on that list of achievements is victory in the Japan Cup, the Victoria Mile and two renewals of the Tenno Sho (Autumn), while also being named Japan’s Horse of the Year for 2020. She retired with a record nine Grade 1 successes to her name, the most by a Japanese horse, while winning 11 of 15 starts and earning a career haul of close to US$ 19 million.

Best Jockey was awarded to Christophe Lemaire, for a series of stunning riding performances during the period of review, including a solid thirteen Grade 1 victories, in top-rated competitions including the Japan Cup, the Tenno Sho, and the Japanese 1000 and 2000 Guineas. Adding value to his accomplishments is his partnership with the wonder-mare Almond Eye.

An excellent international display from Godolphin handler, Charlie Appleby, earned him the Best Trainer award following his phenomenal 14 Group 1 wins, across six countries including the UK, Ireland, Canada, France, Germany and the UAE. Some of the notable wins on that list have come in the Juddmonte International, King's Stand Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Appleby’s trademark consistency also saw him finish as the leading trainer in the recently concluded Dubai World Cup Carnival 2021.

US racing Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, undoubtedly one of the all-time greats to have graced the sport, was chosen as winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, the selection for which was made by committee. Bailey’s truly remarkable career spans more than three decades during the course of which he recorded more than 5,800 wins, and over $295 million in earnings. Bailey built a special connection with Dubai and the UAE after winning the inaugural Dubai World Cup when partnering the great Cigar back in 1996. The jockey went on to win four Dubai World Cup titles, and holds the record for most wins by a jockey in the race. Winner of seven Eclipse Awards for outstanding jockey, Bailey’s other top-grade wins include two Kentucky Derby titles as well as a record 15 Breeders’ Cup titles.

Japan’s Silk Racing Company Limited, the famous owners of Japan’s richest mare Almond Eye, and winners of nine Grade 1 races during the Awards review period, have been awarded Best Owner. For over three decades, Silk Racing has offered its members a truly spectacular ride through the world of horse ownership. Especially in the past few years with top talent like Almond Eye, Indy Champ, Blast Onepiece, Glory Vase, Salios and so many more. The ownership group has been around the world and back, from Dubai to Hong Kong, with the trophies to prove it.

Hollie Doyle, has been voted by fans as winner of the People’s Choice Award. The 24-year-old British jockey has stacked up a truly extraordinary list of achievements. Riding five winners in one afternoon, a victory at Royal Ascot with a G1 success on British Champions’ Day, becoming the first woman to ride a winner at the International Jockeys' Championship in Hong Kong and the first woman to ride a winner on Saudi Cup Day, her record-breaking 151 wins, with 373 podium finishes are just some highlights from Doyle’s remarkable year.