Classy filly Hermosa leads early standings for 2019 Cartier Horse Of The Year

Horses owned by two of the powerhouses of global racing, Coolmore and Godolphin, feature heavily among the first points for this year’s Cartier Racing Awards, with dual Classic heroine Hermosa currently heading the Cartier Horse Of The Year standings.

 

Hermosa (80 points), owned by a Coolmore partnership and trained by Aidan O’Brien in Ireland, holds a significant early advantage following impressive victories over a mile in the G1 QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5 and the G1 Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 26.

 

The daughter of Galileo could extend the fine recent record of three-year-old fillies crowned Cartier Horse Of The Year, with Treve (2013), Minding (2016) and Enable (2017) all having received the ultimate accolade at the end of their Classic campaigns.

 

The 29th annual Cartier Racing Awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of 300 in London, England, on the evening of Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

 

The longstanding and prestigious awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. There are eight equine awards – the Cartier Horse Of The Year, the Cartier Older Horse, the Cartier Sprinter, the Cartier Stayer, the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt, the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly, the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.

 

European horseracing’s top awards are delivered through a tried and tested combination of points earned by horses in Pattern races (30%), combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists/handicappers (35%) and votes from readers of Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph plus ITV Racing viewers (35%).

 

The participation of the public plays a crucial role in determining the winners of each year’s Cartier Racing Awards and gives horseracing fans the chance to put forward their favourite horses in a meaningful way.

 

In addition to the equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 15-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.

 

The 10 most recent recipients have been David Oldrey, Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O’Brien, Jack Berry, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Jim Bolger, Team Frankel, Barry Hills, Richard Hannon and John Oxx.

 

Coolmore and Godolphin account for five of the six category leaders so far (points two-year-olds are revealed later in the year), with Persian King (56) leading the battle for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award following two victories over a mile at Longchamp, France, including a length success in the mile French Classic, the G1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains on May 12.

 

The Godolphin colt, trained by Andre Fabre, looks set to revert to a mile after coming home second to Sottsass (32) over an extended 10 furlongs in another French Classic, the G1 QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on June 2.

 

Both could face stern challenges from the Coolmore Classic duo of G1 Investec Derby scorer Anthony Van Dyck (48) and Magna Grecia (48), winner of the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4.

 

The Charlie Hills-trained Phoenix Of Spain (32) also announced himself as a Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt contender when storming to victory for owners Tony Wechsler and Ann Plummer in the Irish mile Classic, the G1 Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas, at the Curragh on May 25 – a race in which Magna Grecia was fifth.

 

Hermosa’s early challengers for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award include Anapurna (48), who gamely captured the fillies’ Classic, the G1 Investec Oaks, at Epsom Downs on May 31 for the John Gosden stable, and Godolphin’s Castle Lady (40), winner of a thrilling renewal of the French Classic, the G1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, on May 12.

 

Four-year-old filly Magical (56), also representing Coolmore and O’Brien, leads the race to be crowned Cartier Older Horse following an effortless success in the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 26.

 

Her nearest pursuers are headed by Godolphin’s Dream Castle (42), victorious in the G1 Jebel Hatta Sponsored By Emirates Airline for trainer Saeed bin Suroor at Meydan, UAE, in March, plus two G1 winners this season trained by Roger Varian for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum – Defoe (40), winner of the G1 Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs on May 31, and Zabeel Prince (40), who captured the G1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp on May 26.

 

Blue Point (42) sets the early pace in the Cartier Sprinter category with three wins at Meydan for trainer Charlie Appleby, included a blistering display in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Azizi Developments on March 30. The Godolphin-owned five-year-old is set to bid for a second successive win in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, a meeting that is set to feature a host of top sprinters including Battaash (16), Calyx (16) and Inns Of Court (16).

 

Royal Ascot will play a pivotal role in the destination of the Cartier Stayer Award, with 12 of the last 14 recipients of the accolade having won the staying showpiece of the meeting, the G1 Gold Cup, earlier in the season.
Stradivarius (16) won last year’s Gold Cup before taking the Cartier Stayer crown and Bjorn Nielsen’s five-year-old warmed up for a repeat bid by taking the G2 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup Stakes at York on May 17.

 

He faces a stiff test at Royal Ascot this year, with category leader Called To The Bar (18), Dee Ex Bee (16) and 2018 G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter (12) all ready to take on the champion stayer for the first time.

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