Monday, November 01, 2010



The identities of the four writers shortlisted for the title of Horserace Writers and Photographers Association Journalist of the Year, one of the showpiece awards at this year’s 44th HWPA Derby Awards lunch on Monday, December 6, supported by and Spinal Research, are announced today.

Chris McGrath (The Independent), who took the coveted Clive Graham Trophy three years ago, is a nominee along with another previous winner Brough Scott (Racing Post), who gained the title back in 1977 when writing for the Sunday Times.

The other two selected are first-time shortlisters, Chris Cook (The Guardian) and Peter Thomas (Racing Post).

A record entry of 25 was received for this year’s award, each of whom submitted three articles from the last 12 months to an independent judging panel comprised of former Sporting Life editor Monty Court, experienced Daily Star writer Tony Lewis and Mark Popham, editor and managing director of Racenews.

The panel was asked to select the shortlist on the basis of the three submitted articles plus the overall work of the writers concerned over the past 12 months.

Because of the size and high standard of the entry, the panel also requested that four other writers should receive commendations for their work - Sean Boyce (Boycie’s blog), Lissa Oliver (freelance), Tom Peacock (Press Association) and Tom Richmond (Yorkshire Post).

“There were some particularly strong pieces which meant deciding the shortlisted journalists wasn’t easy,” said Mark Popham.

“Away from finalising the shortlist, the most pleasing aspect of being involved was the number of writers with whom not all of the judges were familiar, but whose work was interesting and of a good standard. We felt they should be encouraged as much as possible.”

Members of the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association will now vote to choose between the four shortlisted to be the HWPA Journalist of the Year, while they will also vote on whether Nick Luck will claim the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trophy as Broadcaster of the Year for the fourth year running.

The shortlist for the title of Photographer of the Year has been selected by award-winning sports photographer Chris Smith, who chose the portfolios submitted by Dan Abraham, Julian Herbert, Louise Pollard and Hugh Routledge.

Dan and Hugh are both former winners of the award, while Julian and Louise are also previous nominees, so there is plenty of experience among the shortlist. Incredibly, there were no less than eight former winners among the 17 photographers who submitted portfolios for the competition.

The winners of all of this year’s awards will be announced at a sell-out lunch at the Lancaster London Hotel on Monday, December 6.

HWPA President Will Hayler said: “The Derby Awards lunch has become known as the best racing lunch in town and the winners’ celebrations tend to go on well into the night. To have the largest-ever entry from 25 journalists and 17 photographers is a great compliment to the esteem in which these prizes are rightfully held.

“Everyone lucky enough to be attending the lunch should be grateful for the ongoing support of, and also to Andy Stewart, whose generous backing of the awards allows us to use the event to raise awareness of the important and groundbreaking work of Spinal Research.” has opened up betting on two of the awards and make Brough Scott the 4-5 market-leader to repeat his victory of 33 years ago in the Journalist of the Year title, while Nick Luck is the 4-9 favourite to continue his winning streak in the broadcasters’ division, ahead of Matt Chapman at 13-8. Betting for both competitions will be available on the website.

Head of Communications and Betting Spokesperson, Leon Blanche, commented: “We at are proud to be back to sponsor the HWPA Derby Awards for the second year running and congratulate all of the nominees. Last year’s event was fantastic and we received a great deal of positive feedback.

“We’re looking forward to an equally enjoyable event in 2010 and are thrilled to be joined by Spinal Research. It is a hugely important cause and this is the perfect stage to provide the organisation with plenty of publicity.”

Jonathan Miall, chief executive of Spinal Research, said: “Spinal Research is very pleased to be associated with this year’s Derby Awards lunch.

“This represents another major opportunity not only to support an excellent event, but also to further increase Spinal Research’s profile amongst key supporters in the horseracing industry, and to publicise its recent successes and ongoing developments in the research that it funds towards repair of damaged spinal cords.

“Spinal Research would like to congratulate all nominees and winners of awards this year. betting for Journalist of the Year:
4/5 Brough Scott

2/1 Chris McGrath

7/2 Peter Thomas
4/1 Chris Cook betting for Broadcaster of the Year
4/9 Nick Luck

13/8 Matt Chapman

8/1 Clare Balding

16/1 bar
For further details, please contact HWPA President Will Hayler at




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