1. CUP DAY DRAMA
THIS year’s Albury Gold Cup was one of the most memorable, and undoubtedly most dramatic, in the race’s 132-year history.
Albury trainer Brett Cavanough claimed his first home town feature in sensational circumstances when Niblick was awarded the race on protest.
Fabriano, trained at Benalla by Peter Donnelly, was first past the post but became the first horse to lose the Cup on protest after stewards ruled Fabriano had interfered with both Niblick and runner-up Coliseo on the home straight.
Donnelly was left fuming and let fly with a rant that ultimately saw him fined $500 by Racing NSW.
2. CAV'S COLLECTION
WHILE there was plenty of drama surrounding his Albury Gold Cup win, Brett Cavanough will forever look back fondly on March 22, 2013.
Not only did he capture the feature race with Niblick, Albury’s premier trainer picked up two more winners on the day.
Bossdon City claimed the $50,000 Flatnacker sprint in the wake of the Gold Cup drama, while consistent performer Ceccanti saluted in the third race of the day. It was Cavanough’s day.
3. STEPHEN BAXTER
THE Border horse racing community suffered a massive loss recently with the passing of well-known identity Stephen Baxter.
More than 1000 people flocked to Baxter’s funeral after he lost a long-running battle with cancer at the age of 56.
The Barnawartha farmer served 13 years on the Albury Racing Club committee and was also president of the Southern Campdraft Association for the same period before stepping down four years ago.
Albury Racing Club chief John Miller was one of many to reflect on Baxter’s contribution to local racing.
“Steve was one of the hardest workers I have ever met and would do anything for anyone to help them out,” he said.
4. BRODIE ARRIVES
BORDER teen Brodie Loy, 16, announced himself to the racing world this year with winner after winner as one of the region’s best young jockeys.
Loy, son of former Albury jockey and trainer Norm, has only been in the saddle officially since October last year but has wasted little time making himself known on the circuit.
He’s got a massive future.
5. SUMAKARAY STARS
BRIAN Cox-trained sprinter Sumakaray emerged as a potential star last spring and she didn’t let anybody down this campaign, either.
Cox’s stable star was a strong performer against city company all spring long, with the Wodonga mare placing at both Caulfield and Moonee Valley in between an impressive fourth at Flemington on Oaks Day.
7. FLEMINGTON FIRST
YOUNG Berrigan trainer Emma Steel experienced the biggest thrill of her training career when It’s Poets Day upstaged a handy bunch of sprinting fillies to score a win at Flemington in July.
Ridden by apprentice jockey Jake Duffy, the filly ($17) defied a betting drift to hand Steel her first winner at Australia’s most famous racecourse.
The young mare was always in a prominent position and surged away over the final furlong to score by two lengths.
“It’s an amazing thrill and it doesn’t get much bigger then being able to get a winner at Flemington,” Steel said following the win.
7. NON-STOP NEWITT
A BRILLIANT Craig Newitt ride aboard Stratigraphy handed Caulfield trainer Mick Price his first $80,000 Wodonga Gold Cup success earlier this month.
Stratigraphy overcame a tardy beginning to salute with a powerful finishing burst, with Newitt forced to settle near the tail of the 14-horse field after missing the start.
Newitt was almost unstoppable on the day, riding four winners and claiming three thirds from his seven mounts at the meeting.
8. ROYCE REINS 'EM IN
PROMISING North Albury reinsman Royce Gregory-Jack highlighted his growing reputation when he claimed back-to-back wins in the Indigenous Drivers Championship at Menangle in October.
Gregory-Jack partnered the Kevin Pizzuto-trained Mister Double Line ($3.50) to victory and was also on a Pizzuto-trained pacer when he took out the crown last year.
Gregory-Jack upstaged some of Australia’s most promising indigenous reinsmen and women for the honour.
“It was a huge thrill,” Gregory-Jack said.
“It was good to be able to showcase my talents on NSW’s premier track and hopefully its a stepping stone to bigger opportunities in the future.”
9. ROYAL RODD
WODONGA Turf Club got a glimpse at racing royalty in the midst of the spring carnival when leading jockey Michael Rodd made a rare appearance on the Border in September.
Just days after guiding champion mare Atlantic Jewel to victory in the Memsie Stakes, which would end up being one of her final starts, Rodd arrived at Wodonga booked to ride in five races.
The reigning Scobie Breasley medallist, Victoria’s most outstanding rider, managed to score another win aboard Chosen Son on the day.
10. COPPING IT SWEET
BRETT Cavanough had an early hiccup in what turned out to be a sensational year for Albury’s premier trainer.
Cavanough was fined $4000 by stewards following an inquiry into a positive swab that saw him plead guilty to administering the banned substance Tetramisole to one of his horses in the lead up to raceday.
Cavanough copped his penalty on the chin.
“You get your just desserts when you use a prohibited substance,” Cavanough said.
“At the end of the day it was a sheep drench that the stable had been using for 10 years.
“They banned it in June last year and there have been plenty of blokes using it and all of a sudden I got caught with it.
“It’s a harsh lesson.”
OTHER TOP 10 MOMENTS IN SPORT: