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Able Friend Crowned Hong Kong HOTY
Able Friend (Shamardal-Ponte Piccolo, by Volksraad) was crowned Hong Kong Horse of the Year at a glittering ceremony at the Grand Hyatt on Friday night. The outstanding galloper, who won 4 Gr1 races this season, was also named Champion Miler and secured 59 per cent of the public vote to claim the Most Popular Horse title. The Australian-bred 5YO joins an elite group that includes Fairy King Prawn, Electronic Unicorn, Bullish Luck, Good Ba Ba and Ambitious Dragon as horses to have claimed Horse of the Year honours and the Champion Miler title in the same season. Able Friend was bred and sold by Stuart Ramsey's Scone-based Turangga Farm draft at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale to Hong Kong bloodstock agent George Moore for $550,000. The son of Shamardal has now won 12 of his 19 starts for $8,185,156 in prize money. Among the other winners on the night were Able Friend's trainer John Moore who claimed his seventh Champion Trainers title; Aerovelocity was named Champion Sprinter; Designs On Rome collected the Champion Middle-Distance Horse award; while exciting young sprinter Thewizardofoz, by Redoute's Choice out of champion NZ filly Princess Coup, claimed the title of Champion Griffin. Click here to view all category winners.