Holly Watson wins the Damien Oliver Award

Holly Watson will go down in history as the maiden winner of the award named after Western Australia’s greatest jockey.

Perth’s leading apprentice from the 2022/23 season was on Monday night crowned winner of the Damien Oliver Award, which is presented at Racing and Wagering Western Australia’s apprentice awards.

The 24-year-old, who is apprenticed to Simon Miller, rode 69 winners for the season, including the Listed Sheila Gwynne Classic aboard Stellar Vista to earn the award named after the Hall of Fame jockey who will retire after 35 years in the saddle at the end of the year.

“As one great career ends, another is just beginning and our training team has high hopes for Holly’s future in racing,” RWWA’s racing training manager Sharyn Lancaster said.

“Holly has always been excited to learn as much as possible about riding and the racing industry and has grown in skill and passion throughout her apprenticeship.

“She’s also keen to get involved in community and animal welfare activities. We’re very proud of her.”

Other award winners on the night included Brayden Gaerth, who took out the statewide apprentices’ title after partnership 70 wins, while Austin Galati was Country Apprentice of the Year and Chanel Cooper the Trainee of the Year.

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