It was a case of fifth time lucky for Peter Thomas at the 56th Derby Awards at the Lancaster London Hotel, the annual showcase for horseracing media organised by the Horserace Writers & Photographers Association and sponsored by Hong Kong Jockey Club, Coral and Vertem Asset Management. Having been shortlisted on four previous occasions for Racing Writer of the Year, Peter defeated Lydia Hislop, Adam Houghton and Daragh Ó Conchúir to claim the Clive Graham Trophy, his success an eighth win in a row for a writer from the Racing Post.
There was also a first-time winner in the Photographer of the Year category, where the Press Association’s David Davies triumphed over two previous winners, Patrick McCann and Edward Whitaker of the Racing Post, as well as his PA colleague Tim Goode. David hadn’t previously entered the Derby Awards, though he is a previous winner of the SJA Sports Photographer of the Year award.
Nick Luck became just the second person to win two Derby Awards in the same year. He was voted Broadcaster of the Year for the ninth time, but also picked up the John Oaksey Trophy for Reporter of the Year for his work on the Nick Luck Daily podcast.
Jonathan Harding was out of luck in the reporter category, but he landed the Specialist Writer of the Year award, giving the Racing Post a second success on the afternoon. Jonathan was a previous winner of the Alan Lee Trophy for Emerging Talent. That award this year went to Megan Dent, the first photographer to take this prize.
Alan Crowhurst, twice a winner of the Photographer of the Year, picked up a first victory in the Picture of the Year category. It’s fair to say his brilliant photo of a seagull flying ahead of the field at Brighton races would have won this award in many a year.
In the non-Media categories, the George Ennor Award for outstanding achievement was given to Nicky Henderson. Sir Mark Prescott was voted Flat Trainer of the Year, while Henry de Bromhead picked up the Jump Trainer’s award for the second successive year. Champion jockeys William Buick and Brian Hughes added a second Derby award to their haul in their respective categories. Kirsten Rausing was voted Owner of the Year.
Charlie Appleby picked up two trophies, the International Racing Bureau’s award for International Trainer and GBR’s pot for the champion Flat trainer. The Arabian Racing Achievement award went to Philip Collington.