Victoria's champs dominate the Australian harness racing awards

The Australian harness racing awards for 2023 have affirmed Victoria’s dominance in both the pacing and trotting ranks.

Greg Sugars.
Greg Sugars. Picture: HRV

Globetrotting squaregaiter Just Believe confirmed his greatness by taking out the Australian Trotter of the Year title as well as the Aged Horse/Gelding Trotter category.

The honour adds to an already stacked trophy cabinet which includes the inaugural TAB Trot won in Cambridge earlier this month.

The Jess Tubbs-prepared gelding was also in contention for Australian Harness Horse of the Year, but fell short to Queenslander and A G Hunter Cup winner Leap To Fame.

Queen Elida continued to show her dominance in the Aged Trotting Mare category, taking out the prestigious gong for the second-straight year.

The David Miles-trained Rockinwithattitude added the 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year title to the two-year-old crown she won last year.

The daughter of Aldebaran Eagle continued to win the public's heart with 90 per cent of the vote. Rockinwithattitude had a successful 2023 with eight wins, two seconds and banked $203,940.

The Nathan Jack-prepared Violet Standford remained unbeaten through the 2023 season – highlighted by victory in the Group 1 Vicbred final at Melton – and amassed 75 per cent of the vote to easily win the 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year category.

Emma Stewart dominated the pacing ranks, taking out a smattering of awards.

Timmy Rictor got the nod in the 2YO Pacing Colts and Geldings category ahead of stablemate Stormryder.

The son of Modern Art won five of his six starts, including the Group 1 Breeders Crown final at Melton Entertainment Park.

The Cardigan trainer also took out the 3YO Pacing Filly crown with Major Delight, while Petracca scored 56 per cent of the vote to claim the 3YO Pacing Colts and Geldings award.

The South Australian owned-and-bred Encipher, who is trained by Stewart, comfortably won the Australian Aged Pacing Mare of the Year crown with over 78 per cent of votes.