A Caledon horse racing trainer has found himself nominated along with four of the sports biggest names for one of the most prestigious prizes in Irish racing.
Andy Oliver, who trains his horses from Strageme House stables in Caledon has been nominated for outstanding achievement in the Flat category of the 2012 Horse Racing Ireland Awards, which take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on December 10th.
Also up for the award are father and son Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, Classic winning trainer and jockey Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld.
Oliver has made a big impression on the Irish racing scene since training his first winner just four years ago and he enjoyed a fine season in 2012 with a number of big race wins.
Twenty-nine domestic victories was a very respectable total and he was off the mark early when his horse Mutsareb won three consecutive races in the space of three weeks at Dundalk in January.
However, it was with his two year olds really really sprang him to prominence as Sendmylovetorose won her first three races including the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh in late June and the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket the following month.
Within a matter of days in the late summer Oliver won two of Irish racing’s biggest prizes with First Cornerstone landing the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh and Punch Your Weight winning the Irish Cambridgeshire, one of the biggest handicap races of the year.
First Cornerstone also finished a very creditable fourth in the Group One Racing Post Trophy in Doncaster at the end of October.