As the year comes to an end, we take a look at some notable moments of 2023


Photo: Racing Victoria

Not only has he trained on as a three-year-old but he’s trained on in such a fashion that he’s confirmed his place at one of the leading stud farms in Australia, Newgate Farm. The lineage of a Zoustar colt adds significant value to both the covering shed and the studbook. Owned by Darby Racing and trained by Bjorn Baker, both parties believe he’s one of the best horses they’ve been involved with. His dominating win in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes only cemented his promise in the breeding barn. He’s been ridden to perfection by Rachel King who’s had a remarkable season herself.

Rachel King

Photo: Racing Victoria

She is currently sitting eighth in the metropolitan jockeys’ premiership and looks to be a woman on a mission. In the 2023 season alone, she has achieved some illustrious milestones. She made history by becoming the first female to secure victories in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes, Group 1 Metropolitan Stakes, and the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. She represented Australia in the Japan World All-Stars jockey challenge, where she finished 2nd individually. Most recently she represented Australia in Hong Kong when riding at the Longines International Jockeys Challenge. She dominated in the first leg when winning on Oversubscribed for David Hall.

Kathy O’Hara

Kathy has maintained her position in the top metropolitan jockeys premiership consistently and has been a trailblazer in the racing industry. However, she etched her name in history by becoming the first female to claim victory in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap aboard the Waller-trained Redeiner this year. Just a few weeks later came her next big win steering Palmettoin to win the $1,000,000 Five Diamonds Prelude for John Sargent. Off the track, racing enthusiasts were delighted to hear that she was offering Nature Strip a home in his retirement.

Sara Ryan

Photo: Bradley Photographers

Sara Ryan took on a new role last year as head trainer for Domeland’s Australian Operation. With a string of 47 horses on the books, you can’t help but notice her consistent appearance in the winner’s circle. Her most significant victory occurred in this year’s $3,000,000 Big Dance with Attractable. She came very close to securing her first group race last week, narrowly missing out in the Group 2, The Ingham. She’s on our radar for 2024.

Joseph Pride

Photo: Bradley Photographers

It’s no secret that Joseph has been firmly eyeing up an Everest win since the inception of the race. He has faced misfortune for three consecutive years, making this year’s win even more gratifying. Joseph is no stranger to Group 1 sprinting success but the key players involved in the win are probably some of the nicest people in racing. Jamie Walter from Proven Thoroughbreds has played the long game. He’s been racing horses for decades, successfully I may add but for a syndication to secure a win as such as this one only strengthens Australia’s ownership opportunities. Jockey Sam Clipperton has been ultra-consistent on this horse and to steer him to victory in such a fashion only adds to the accomplishment.

Mr Brightside

Mr Consistent. I don’t think he’s ever left anything on the track. In 2023, he had ten starts, and only once was he out of the placings, and that was first up. This year alone, he has navigated and emerged victorious around Moonee Valley, Royal Randwick, Caulfield, and Flemington. At just six years old, he boasts a formidable record with just under $11,500,000 in earnings and not one but two Group 1 Doncasters under his belt. His win in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes was something else.