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Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

One could say racehorse trainer Paul Peter trumped Oscar winners Walt Disney and Bong Joon-ho with his haul of trophies at the Highveld Season awards at a dinner in Johannesburg on Saturday night.

Walt Disney won four statuettes at the Oscars in 1954 and — just two years ago in 2020 — Bong Joon-ho matched that total with his movie Parasite.

Peter — likely to win his first trainers championship in nine weeks’ time — won five of the award categories as well as the trophy for the highveld season’s champion trainer.

His three-year-old Master Archie won two awards, with the judging panel giving the son of Rafeef the prize for Champion Sprinter as well as Champion Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding.

Peter’s talented four-year-old MK’s Pride won the award for Champion Older Horse after the colt’s biggest win in April’s grade 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes at Turffontein.

Stablemate Astrix won the Champion Middle Distance award as a result of his victory in the grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge in which he defeated Mike de Kock’s filly, Sparkling Water.

The first award presented was for Champion Two-Year-Old Filly and the Peter stable took this trophy with speedy youngster Maharanee. The daughter of Flower Alley maintained her 100% record when she won the grade 2 SA Fillies Nursery.

Peter was not at the awards function, but the family were out in full force. His son Tony lauded the achievements of his father, who he said “has a heart bigger than Turffontein racecourse”.

This season’s leading jockey, Warren Kennedy, was an absentee too and Tony Peter accepted the trophy on his behalf, paying tribute to his “commitment to the stable, which isn’t easy with all the travelling”.

Owner Laurence Wernars has enjoyed an outstanding season and he took two awards — one a “Special Award”, which must have caught the businessman by surprise.

Wernars and trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren will have travelled to the awards hopeful that their two-year-old colt Karangetan would win the Champion Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding trophy. They were not disappointed and the son of Erupt was named the winner.

Karangetan was bred by Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein and the sister studs — who also bred Maharanee — were named Champion Breeder of the season.

Former champion trainer Sean Tarry received three trophies — his filly Rain In Holland taking the Horse Of The Season award as well as Champion Three-Year-Old Filly. His five-year-old Nerbraas was voted Champion Stayer.

• Legendary jockey Lester Piggott is unwell and has been admitted to a hospital in Switzerland. The 86-year-old has lived near Lake Geneva since 2012.

His son-in-law William Haggas said: “He’s battling but he’s a tough man. Hopefully he’ll pull through and get home as soon as possible.”


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