BATHURST-trained trio Kashed Up, Warrawee Drinking and Jenden Strike are among the recently announced nominees for the Harness Racing NSW Horse of the Year.
Gemma Hewitt's Kashed Up and Steve Turnbull's Warrawee Drinking both earned a nomination for the two-year-old colts and geldings pacer of the year title while Chris Frisby's Jenden Strike is among the three-year-old filly nominations.
Bathurst Harness Racing Club media manager and driver Amy Rees said the nominations are a great sign for racing in the country.
"They're from three different stables and it's great to see country horses being recognised at a higher level," she said.
Jenden Strike hasn't taken long to race past the six-figure mark in prizemoney.
The Betterthancheddar made it third time lucky for her mother Lucky Jenden, becoming the first of her three fillies to make a significant start to their racing career.
She was a placegetter in the NSW Breeders Challenge final and earlier in the season claimed the biggest win of her young career when taking out the Group 2 South East Oaks at Albion Park.
"Her last run down at Victoria was terrific," Rees said.
"She's a horse who has represented Bathurst and New South Wales both in Queensland and Victoria. She keeps stepping up, and hopefully she'll have another great season."
Kashed Up has been lightly raced over his two-year-old season but has impressed in that short time.
The For A Reason x Laughing Lilly gelding, and half brother to fellow stable star Kash Us Back, scored the biggest win of his career last start when he won the Group 3 Western Region 2YO Colts and Geldings Final.
"He's going to be a great horse for her. Kash [Us Back] has also been wonderful for her but it looks like Kashed Up might be that horse that could go to the next level," Rees said.
"Even at his first trials he looked like he was going to be a nice two-year-old for her and ended up grabbing that Group win before he went out for a well earned spell."
Warrawee Drinking also saved his biggest win to date for his last race before a spell, claiming glory in the Group 2 Breeders Blue Final at big odds.
He's the first foal out of the experienced mare Very Chic to make an exciting start to their career.
And Rees said he's been cheered on all the way by a passionate group of connections.
"We need more people like his ownership group in the industry," she said.
"They just have so much fun. They love getting out there and having a good time, and no matter how their horse goes they're always cheering."
The winners will be announced on February 1.