Jeradas Delight has capped off a stunning 2021 season after securing tonight’s top accolade at the 2021 TAB Queensland Harness Awards in Brisbane.
The Jack Butler-trained pacer was crowned the TAB Queensland Harness Horse of the Year, edging out fellow finalists Cat King Cole, L L Cool J, Teddy Disco and Turn It Up to cap off a fairy-tale season for the champion mare.
From 24 starts throughout 2021, she claimed six wins and six placings, highlighted by the $100,000 The Golden Girl, and saluted at $151 to deliver a maiden Group 1 for trainer Jack Butler and driver Brendan Barnes.
Another feature win in the Listed Queen Of The Creek saw the ever-consistent pacer finish the season with $120,877 in prize money.
Jeradas Delight was also named the Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year and the Garrard’s Queensland Filly or Mare of the Year.
Peter McMullen’s record-breaking season has seen the premier driver named both Queensland and Australian Driver of the Year – amongst a raft of other accolades – after becoming the first reinsperson in the Sunshine State to surpass 300 wins in a single season.
Not surprisingly, Grant Dixon, who trained 228 winners, was named Queensland Trainer of the Year, in a season that also saw him finish second in the National Trainers’ Premiership.
Young gun Angus Garrard was awarded the Queensland Concession Driver of the Year in a season after a standout season that saw him finish fourth in the State Drivers’ Premiership standings with 164 wins – a second centurion tally in as many years.
Angus’ father Daren also enjoyed success on the evening, with Sir Fahrenheit (NZ) named the Trotter of the Year with 10 wins from 27 starts, including the Group 2 AQWA Constructions Trotters Sprint – a maiden Group triumph for both father and son.
Finally, Cat King Cole claimed the 2YO Pacer of the Year crown, while fellow Group 1 winner Manila Playboy was adjudged the best 3YO pacer in the state.
Racing Minister Grace Grace said the 2021 harness racing season shone a light on Queensland’s equine and human heroes.
“Jeradas Delight was a thoroughly deserving winner of this year’s TAB Queensland Harness Horse of the Year award, highlighted by that unbelievable triumph in the Group 1 Golden Girl where she beat some of the best mares in Australasia including Amazing Dream,” Minister Grace said.
“It’s an honour to see our Queenslanders well represented on the national stage as well, with Pete McMullen’s record-breaking season making him the top driver in the country, while in the training ranks Grant Dixon should be proud of his second-place finish.
“I congratulate all award winners, and look forward to another brilliant harness racing season here in the Sunshine State.”
The evening also saw champion pacers Cane Smoke and Slipnslide both inducted into the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
The Brian Manzelmann-trained Cane Smoke, who raced predominantly in Central and North Queensland throughout the 80s and 90s, currently holds the Australian record for most career wins at 120 – coming from 400 career starts – with 34 in a single season.
Millionaire QBRED pacer Slipnslide – trained, owned and driven by Luke McCarthy – rounded out the evening’s Hall of Fame inductees.
One of Queensland’s pin-up boys throughout the early 2000s, the multiple Group 1-winner ended his 37-win career a Chariots Of Fire and Truer Memorial champion, a two-time Queensland Pacing Championship winner, while also being placed in the 2005 Miracle Mile and 2006 Inter Dominion.