China Horse Club’s talisman, Abel Tasman, has been anointed as America’s Outstanding Three-Year-Old Filly of Year at a glittering black-tie ceremony in Miami, Florida today. The Eclipse Awards recognized the very best performers in America’s thoroughbred racing season with Abel Tasman proving to be a dominant winner of her division.
It is believed to be the first-time owners from Mainland China have won an Eclipse Award in its 47-year history. In being honoured as the best filly in the United States in 2017, Abel Tasman joined a list of feature award recipient raced by the China Horse Club in its short racing history. This list includes Australia (2014 Longines IFHA Co-World Champion Three-Year-Old), Dissident (2015 Australian Horse of the Year and 2015 Australian Sprinter of the Year), First Seal (2015 NSW Racehorse of the Year, 2015 Three-Year-Old of the Year and 2015 Queen of the Autumn).
Teo Ah Khing
China Horse Club Chairman, Mr Teo Ah Khing, was on hand to accept the award alongside fellow owners Bernard and Eamonn Cleary of Clearsky Farm who bred Abel Tasman.
“To the many industry co-workers, thank you for supporting our early entry into the US. We are only three years old into horse racing [here] but we thank you for your support. It has given us a lot of encouragement,” Chairman Teo told the audience of international thoroughbred industry leaders.
“Our partners [the Clearys] are here. I [also] see some of [our other racing partners] at the main table from WinStar, Mr and Mrs Troutt, Kenny and his friends, and we are very honoured to partner with you. Thank you very much again.”
Abel Tasman’s imperious season began with two runner-up performances before kicking into overdrive with a trio of G1 wins. A storming Kentucky Oaks triumph was followed by successes in the G1 Acorn Stakes and the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks. Defeat in the G1 Cotillion Stakes didn’t dampen spirits heading into the G1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff and that positivity was well founded with the star filly rallying strongly from well off the pace to roar home for a close second to close out her season.
It was a wonderful night for Abel Tasman’s co-owner, the Cleary family, with their Clearsky Farm also being recognized as the Eclipse Outstanding Breeders of the Year. Clearsky Farm were represented by five individual stakes winners in 2017, the standout being Arrogate who was crowned the 2017 Longines IFHA Horse of the Year only 24 hours earlier.
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