With autumn racing coming to a close, the National Steeplechase Association celebrated with the annual awards dinner at the National Steeplechase Museum.
Dawalan, owned by Irv Naylor and trained by Cyril Murphy, won the last stakes race of 2015, the $100,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup Grade 1 Hurdles Stakes, a 2-3/4-mile race over National Fences, under jockey Ross Geraghty, at Springdale Race Course in Camden, SC.
“My biggest regret is that Irv isn’t here to see it. This is his great love,” Diane Naylor said after accepting the trophy on his behalf. “This is a team effort, everyone working together. I’m excited for Cyril and the barn. It’s a dream come true. Everyone ends the season on a good note.”
“Cyril Murphy is a fabulous trainer and I have great riders,” said Irv Naylor when told the news. The win garnered Dawalan the National Steeplechase Association’s (NSA) Lonesome Glory Champions Award as the year’s leading earner, having won more than $250,000.
Grade 1 victories in the Colonial Cup and Grand National have put Dawalan in a good position to be voted 2015’s champion steeplechase horse. Sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, the Eclipse Award winner will be announced in January 2016.
Irv Naylor more than secured his title as the 2015 NSA champion owner with year-end earnings of $778,660.
His horses’ performances throughout the year were nothing short of masterful, including first and second-place finishes in the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup, first and second-place finishes in the Charleston Cup, victory in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, and three wins at Far Hills, including the richest meet in American jump racing, the $300,000 Grade 1 Grand National. This is the fifth leading-owner title in six years for Naylor who calls Pennsylvania home.
Michael Moran’s Ivy Mills received the Life’s Illusion Filly and Mare champion trophy that the NSA awards each year to steeplechasing’s leading female. Jack Fisher trained, she won the $30,000 Springdale for fillies and mares on “Ladies Day at the Races” at the Colonial Cup.
Jack Fisher is the 2015 champion trainer for the ninth time with the most wins (28) and most earnings ($1,047,600). Based in Maryland, he trained for Gil Johnston, Sheila J. Williams, Mrs. S.K. Johnston Jr.,Mrs. John R.S. Fisher, Edith R. Dixon, Andre W. Brewster, Michael J. Moran, Harold A. Via Jr., Jeremy A. Batoff, Northwoods Stable, Bruton Street-US, Woodslane Farm, Arcadia Stable, DASH Stable, Petticoats Loose Farm and Kingfisher Farm in 2015.
Paddy Young is the champion jockey for the fifth time. Pennsylvania-based Young had 24 wins for trainers Leslie Young, Ricky Hendriks, Jack Fisher, Jonathan Sheppard, Jimmy Day, Fenneke Bentley and Danielle Hodsdon.
The title of most earnings went to jockey Jack Doyle, in the US from Ireland for part of 2015. He rode for trainers Richard Valentine, Jack Fisher, Cyril Murphy, Elizabeth Voss, Janet Elliot, Todd Wyatt, Micheal Leaf, Ricky Hendriks, Jazz Napravnik and Louis Neilson III.
Kate Dalton accepted the novice championship for Gary Barber’s African Oil.