BATHURST Harness Racing Club's best of the best for the 2019-20 season were celebrated recently as the year came to a close, with Bernie Hewitt and Amanda Turnbull taking home the top trainer and driver awards respectively.
Hewitt finished his season with 66 wins at the Bathurst track while Turnbull once again took out the driver's award with 60 victories, despite missing the back end of the season while in Victoria.
Chris Frisby's Aphorism was the Horse of the Year winner thanks to his seven successes at home while the ever dominant Art Major was the top sire of the season with 31 Bathurst victors.
"We're very happy to have won that award. Chris and Anthony have done a fantastic job along with all of their staff at home," Aphorism's owner Ben Settree said.
"Fran Hausfeld bred the horse and she's still involved with the horse and for her to win that is a big thrill too. We're delighted to have that honour."
Aphorism went on a hot streak at Bathurst across May and June where he claimed four wins in the space of five races.
In the strike rate awards Frisby came out as the top trainer with one winner every four races while Turnbull claimed the same honours in the driver's battle with a winning effort every 3.9 drives.
Amy Rees claimed her first award at the club as her 20 wins for 2019-20 saw her named the Junior Driver of the Year.
Rees was surprised by the honour but was quick to play down her efforts, believing the COVID-19 affected season favoured her statistically.
"I wasn't really paying too much attention to the numbers, to be honest, but I felt at the time that I was having a pretty good season," she said.
"With COVID it meant we were pretty much racing at Bathurst for a lot of the time and I still had my claim while a lot of other junior drivers couldn't travel. Ash [Grives] was also pregnant so I was driving for her team as well, which was helpful because I got a few winners with her too.
"I feel that if we had continued counting into the extended season [until the end of December] then Justin Reynolds definitely would have caught me because he was having a great end to the year. I'd say he'll be a top candidate for grabbing that award this season."