Behind the scenes figures from Newmarket’s racing industry figure prominently in the long list nominations for this year’s Godolphin Stud and Staff Awards.
Representatives from yards across the town feature in all six-categories of the awards, of which winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel, in London next month.
A total of 16 members of stable and stud staff who work in the town have reached the final 10 in their respective categories.
Of the six sections it is the Dedication to Racing and Administration Staff prizes which feature a strong Newmarket presence with both including four names from the town.
Going for the Dedication to Racing prize will be Bill Brown (Lady Cecil), Paul Holley (David Elsworth), Clifford Marsden (Luca Cumani) and Colin Nutter (Sir Mark Prescott).
In the Administration Staff award, which was first introduced back in 2013, the town is represented by Bee Chapman (William Jarvis), Louise Kaye (James Tate), Peter Shoemark (John Gosden) and Stephanie Snell (Sir Michael Stoute).
In the Rider/Groom Award section Simon Archer (Sir Mark Prescott), Steve Nicholson (Ed Dunlop) and Martyn Peake (Lady Cecil) will look to see their names make it into the final three, while the same will apply to both Sarah Denniff (Sir Michael Stoute) and Joanne Fowles (Roger Varian) in the Leadership Award.
The only person connected to headquarters to taste success at last year’s awards was that of Ben James, who works for Fordham Road handler William Haggas, in the David Nicholson Newcomer Award.
Looking to follow in his footsteps of those that have made it into the final 10 from the town, and nearby Upend, are Charlotte Clayton (Rae Guest) and Claudia McDougall (Fittocks Stud).
Dale Clements (Cheveley Park Stud) is the sole Newmarket based entrant to reach the long list nominations in the Stud Staff category. Among those joining him in that section are Arthur Bell and Ron Lott both who work at Nunnery Stud near Thetford which is owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
“Judging these awards is both a painful and rewarding task,” said Brough Scott, chairman of the judging panel. Painful because of the need to put one wonderful candidate above another, but rewarding because they are the best stable staff incentives world-wide and because this year trainers have supported them in record numbers.
“I’d like to thank all the trainers, managers, owners and colleagues who took the time to nominate a member of staff and wish all the shortlisted candidates the best of luck in the next stage of the judging process.”
Judging is now underway to narrow the candidates down in each category down to a final three, except for the Administration Staff winner who will be selected at this stage.
Once completed those selected will be interviewed by the judging panel which includes former trainer Ian Balding and George McGrath, chief executive of the National Association of Stable Staff (NASS), on Monday, February 23 prior the awards ceremony that evening.
Winners in the Leadership, Dedication to Racing, Stud Staff, Rider/Groom and Administration Staff awards will win £5,000 each while £2,000 will be handed out to the two runners-up in all of the categories except the Administration Staff section.
The winner of the David Nicholson Award will pocket £2,000 with each runner-up wining £1,000.
As an added bonus cash prizes of the same amount will also go to each winner and runner-ups’ respective yard or stud to be split between employees.
The winner of the Employee of the Year title will be the winning finalist from either the Leadership, Dedication to Racing, Stud Staff, or Rider/Groom categories. They will pick up a cheque of £15,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud they are based at.