Specialist Writer of the Year

A racecourse press room is thriving with analytical talent and the skill to forensically examine a topic or area was celebrated with the Specialist Writer of the Year award introduced to the Derby Awards roster in 2019. The prize is contested by those in the media who cover a specific topic or area to the highest quality, varying from tipping or race analysis to more industry-led specialities including business, betting or bloodstock. Yet any area where those entered can prove thorough understanding and unique approach to the subject is welcomed.

In 2019, Kevin Blake, journalist for Sky Sports Racing, Betfair and ITV Racing, showcased his niche through a series of columns while the Racing Post’s industry editor Bill Barber won the following year with a portfolio made up of hard-hitting betting and industry news.

Blake was nominated again in 2021 but it was freelancer Ian Carnaby who recorded the prize with the judges impressed by his thought-provoking writing style. They described his was as “just brilliant, really enjoyable writing that paints vivid pictures with words, a lost skill.”

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Ian Carnaby

2021 winner

2022 Entries

Entries are open for the 2022 HWPA Derby Awards and close on Thursday October 6th.

Entries for this category can include, but are not limited to, analytical work, bloodstock writing, international racing, form analysis and interpretation, industry analysis or tipping pieces. Entrants are required to submit THREE pieces of work.

Previous winners

Year Winner
2021 Ian Carnaby (freelance)
2020 Bill Barber (Racing Post)
Kevin Blake (Betfair, ITV, Sky Sports Racing)