Trainer Eddie Lynam stopped off at the annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards at Leopardstown yesterday en route to Hong Kong where Sole Power runs on Sunday and left with his hands full as the Meath-based trainer picked up the Flat Award and Sole Power claimed the prestigious Horse of the Year Award for 2014.
Lynam and owners David and Sabina Power were double-handed in the Horse of the Year nominations with Sole Power joined by fellow Group One winning sprinter Slade Power, but it was Sole Power who was voted the winner ahead of dual Derby winner Australia and 20-time Grade One winner Hurricane Fly.
The winning owners were closer to Hong Kong than their trainer as they were awaiting a connecting flight in London Heathrow as the awards took place and Lynam, who is a part owner of Sole Power, was joined by Paddy and Willie Power to collect the award.
Lynam saw off Aidan O'Brien, Dermot Weld and champion jockey Pat Smullen for the Flat award after a sensational season that also saw him add Group One success with Anthem Alexander as well as Slade Power and Sole Power.
Legendary trainer Mick O'Toole, whose biggest triumph was the Dessie Hughes-ridden Davy Lad in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1977, was presented with the Contribution To The Industry Award.
Another Hong Kong-bound trainer is Tom Hogan, as he sends out Gordon Lord Byron against Sole Power in the Hong Kong Sprint, and for his handling of the globe-trotting horse, Hogan won the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Hogan has saddled Gordon Lord Byron to be fourth in the Hong Kong Mile on two occasions but is set for his stable star to tackle the sprint this coming weekend instead.
For the second year in a row ,but the first as champion rider, Jamie Codd picked up the Point-to-Point Award. Codd ended the season on 95 winners and edged out Derek O'Connor for the first time as well as teaming up with his old boss Willie Mullins to win the Grade One Champion Bumper on Shaneshill at Punchestown.
Shaneshill was just one of Mullins' 185 domestic winners last season and that statistic was just one of many reasons why Mullins again returned to his Carlow base with the National Hunt award from the HRI Awards.
Reflecting on the past year Mullins said: "I went to Cheltenham hoping that either Hurricane Fly could win a third Champion Hurdle or that Quevega would win again and, thankfully, Quevega won, but it would be hard to split that with what Hurricane Fly came back and achieved at Punchestown earlier this season (20th Grade One win).
Mullins also pinpointed the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on St Stephen's Day as a next target for Champion Hurdle hopeful Faugheen, who he feels can improve plenty for his Ascot win.
The HRI Award hosts Leopardstown Racecourse dominated the racecourse categories and picked up Racecourse of the Year as well as also winning Best Information Services and Best Race Day Entertainment, while Punchestown was voted Most Family Friendly Racecourse.