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.

The Racing Post’s Jonathan Harding collected his second Derby Award in 2022, three years on from his Emerging Talent victory, for his portfolio regarding the gambling industry. He was hailed for his “thoroughly well-researched pieces”. 

Emma Berry (Thoroughbred Daily News), Jon Lees (Thoroughbred Racing Commentary) and Alan Sweetman (Racing Post) were also shortlisted.

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Jonathan Harding

2022 winner

2023 Entries

Entries for the 2023 Derby Awards are currently not open.  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
2022 Jonathan Harding (Racing Post)
2021 Ian Carnaby (freelance)
2020 Bill Barber (Racing Post)
Kevin Blake (Betfair, ITV, Sky Sports Racing)