Elite Blue Size swept to the victory in the battle for top dog honours at the Betfair 2010 NSW Greyhound of the Year awards during a gala dinner at the Sydney Hilton last night.
The Reg Kay-trained three-time Group winner tipped out western Sydney-based Blue Lorian an Newcastle speedster Lochinvar Marlow for the major honour.
Based on the Central Coast for the entire 2010 season after his trainer’s shift south from Queensland, Elite Blue Size won the support from the panel of industry media who each lodged their vote for the award.
He began the year in a blaze of glory with his three feature race wins all coming in the opening months of the year courtesy of the Group One National Derby as well as the Gosford Gold Cup and Maitland Gold Cup (both Group Two). There was cause for double celebration in the Kay camp with Elite Blue Size also nabbing the Sprinter of the Year gong.
The result consigned luckless Lochinvar Marlow trainer Robert Smith to another near miss. The respected mentor has had three consecutive finalists for NSW’s top dog award but has been pipped on each occasion.
Peter Whye’s remarkable run with Blue Lorian, who was given to him as Christmas present by wife Cheryl and has subsequently made 13 Group finals, didn’t quite have the fairytale ending many thought he deserved. But Whye didn’t leave empty handed with Blue Lorian picking up the Stayer of the Year prize.
In other major awards to be announced on the night, Tweed Heads Coursing Club President Harry Pledger was handed the Allen Wheeler Medal for lifetime achievement. Pledger was the first man to be inducted into the Queensland Hall of Fame, but has carried out the majority of his administration duties south of the border.
Cowra-based Rod McDonald capped his second straight win in the Virbac Animal Health Trainer of the Year title. The Group One-winning mentor again enjoyed a successful year with his talented team right across the state.
The full list of award winners is shown below:
• Betfair 2010 NSW Greyhound of the Year – Elite Blue Size
• Allen Wheeler Medal – Harry Pledger
• 2010 Virbac Animal Health Trainer of the Year – Rod McDonald
• 2010 Greyhound Recorder Club of the Year – Dapto Greyhound Racing Club
• 2010 Volunteer of the Year – Darren Hull
• 2010 Young Person of the Year – Clare Gordon
• 2010 Betfair Media Coverage of the Year – Daily Advertiser
• 2010 Run of the Year – Cosmic Rumble (Macro Meats Golden Easter Egg final)
• 2010 Sprinter of the Year – Elite Blue Size
• 2010 Stayer of the Year – Blue Lorian
• 2010 Sire of the Year – Bombastic Shiraz
• 2010 Brood Bitch of the Year – Shireen’s Habit