All the reaction from last night’s 28th Cartier Racing Awards – Europe’s leading annual horseracing accolades

The 28th annual Cartier Racing Awards were staged at London’s Dorchester Hotel before an invited audience of 250 yesterday evening, Tuesday, November 13, 2018.
Introducing the awards, Laurent Feniou, Managing Director, Cartier UK, said: “I feel truly privileged to stand in front of you tonight to honour the very best of the horseracing industry.
“Since last year, time has flown. I feel it was yesterday that I congratulated in my opening speech Enable and her fantastic team for winning the Arc de Triomphe. Watching her winning the Arc de Triomphe again was a very special déjà vu. I am wondering now; will I congratulate Enable again next year?
“These awards epitomise everything that we like at Cartier – style, glamour, beauty and of course the constant and relentless search for excellence.
“As you know, the Racing Awards mean a lot to us all at Cartier. I would to raise a toast to the future of these brilliant awards.”
Roaring Lion was named Cartier Horse Of The Year for 2018. Owned by Qatar Racing Limited, the outstandingly talented and consistent three-year-old colt becomes the fourth Cartier Horse Of The Year in the last five years to be trained by John Gosden at Newmarket, following on from Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015) and Enable (2017).
Purchased as a yearling by Qatar Racing’s racing manager David Redvers at the 2016 Keeneland September sale for US$160,000, the son of Kitten’s Joy enjoyed an outstanding year with victories in three G1 contests over 10 furlongs in the space of just over two months from July to September – the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park, the Juddmonte International at York and the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Roaring Lion followed up on those superb wins with a fourth straight G1 success when dropped down in distance to a mile for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day on October 20. If that were not enough, Roaring Lion also ran a great race on his only attempt at 12 furlongs when a close third behind Masar in Britain’s premier Classic, the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs in June. Oisin Murphy was Roaring Lion’s rider throughout the year.
Qatar Racing Limited’s Chairman, HE Sheikh Fahad Al Thani accepted the top award and said: “By a long way, Roaring Lion has given me my best times in the sport. Firstly, I want to thank Laurent for this day and Cartier. This means a lot for everyone in racing and these are the awards everyone wants to win.
“To have a Cartier Horse Of The Year is an unbelievable achievement by the whole team. John is an unbelievable trainer and a master of his art. I remember standing at the Craven and he said to me ‘this might be a little bit scary but don’t be disappointed and wait until the end the year.’ It was absolutely true.
“David (Redvers, Racing Manager) and Hannah (Wall, Racing Manager’s Assistant) and all the team did the most unbelievable job in finding Roaring Lion.
“My wife (Melissa) had to put up with me for the whole year which was difficult enough I am sure! I would also like to thank my brothers for entrusting me with the racing operation. Oisin (Murphy, retained jockey) has done an unbelievable job – I don’t think there is a jockey like he is riding at the moment except maybe Frankie (Dettori). Oisin is only young and hopefully has many, many more years to come.
“We will try and strive for another one of these awards. I don’t think it will be easy, but we will try.
“Her Majesty The Queen has been a great supporter of our operation from day one. I was trying to keep my calm when Roaring Lion won at Ascot and she turned to me and said ‘I think you are allowed to scream and enjoy.’ I hope I am allowed back at Ascot after that!”
Newmarket-based Gosden, responsible for four of the five nominees for this year’s Cartier Horse Of The Year, (the others were Enable, Stradivarius and Cracksman) added: “If you go back to last year’s Racing Post Trophy, Roaring Lion came to win his race comfortably and then slightly turned left and played with the other horse. Oisin thought he got there too soon, but he didn’t – he got there perfectly but unfortunately his horse wanted a game in the playground!
“When we got to the Craven, I remembered Vincent O’Brien telling me ‘beware of American horses John, wait for the sun on their back and for the faster ground’. I said to Sheikh Fahad beforehand, that the Craven is only a trial and we were not going to win. – if you look at my middle and the horse’s middle, they are both far too big. My wife has been reminding me about mine for years!
“The horse blew up in the Craven. He got half-good in the Guineas and worked it out. Then away he went. He is a magnificent horse who got bigger and stronger. He was bred out of California through Kentucky and unlike all the other horses, he is a sales horse, which is rare. The owner-breeders in this room breed the best horses in my opinion.
“Roaring Lion came through the whole thing and, along with his young jockey, grew in strength and together they were wonderful. They never panicked, not at Leopardstown and not in the QEII. If I had been riding him, I would have panicked!”
Oisin Murphy reacted: “Roaring Lion is a credit to Sheikh Fahad and his brothers for their foresight and support of British racing.
“David Redvers and Hannah found him in Keeneland and John obviously trained him better than anyone could.
“He was very difficult early on from the point of view that we never knew how much ability the horse had. He flourished as the year went on and we all benefited from his success through his four G1 wins in a row later in the season.
“He was a pleasure to involved with and what an exciting horse he is to go to stud in 2019.”
HE Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, Oisin Murphy & John Gosden with Laurent Feniou
Roaring Lion also gained the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award ahead of Saxon Warrior, Masar and Sands Of Mali.
David Redvers revealed: “Eight years ago, I was completely on my uppers. We had just had a shocking run of events – Ishiguru and Lucky Story were two horses who ended their stallion careers almost as soon as they had started them through an unfortunate paddock accident and a heart attack. We were just getting going and then got cut down.
“I went to New Zealand and tried to find another thread, some way that I could make a few quid in this business. Within a day of arriving, I got an email from my little sister, the most unlikely bearer of good of good fortune, who told me that there was a young Sheikh who would like to meet me for lunch at the Lanesborough Hotel (in London, UK) on Tuesday morning.
“This was Friday afternoon and I had arrived in New Zealand on the Thursday night. So, I found myself checking out this young Sheikh and realised that it might not be some fake sheikh and it be worthwhile getting on a plane to go back.
“I missed my flight after falling asleep in the airport. The whole thing was a nightmare and I got there with three minutes to spare. I met a rather different Sheikh Fahad at the Lanesborough to the God that you see before you today. He told me that he wanted to buy a racehorse or two and it was the moment that changed my life.
“The key thing to everything is to get a great team around you. Luckily, I have a great team. Hannah was already working for me, Peter Molony was my best friend and Ralph Beckett and Andrew Balding have helped this dream come true. You all know who you are.
“This tonight is the absolute highlight. All I can say with Qatar Racing is we are incredibly lucky to work with an unbelievable team of trainers.
“Oisin Murphy, I think you we all agree, is probably our greatest find of all and what you have done for us this year can never be bettered.
“I am incredibly honoured. Thank you to Cartier for this magnificent evening and this magnificent trophy. And thank you Sheikh Fahad for this incredible year.”
David Redvers & HE  

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani wth Laurent Feniou 
Enable, the Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly in 2017, narrowly lost out on becoming the third horse, following on from Frankel (2011 & 2012) and Ouija Board (2004 & 2006), to become Cartier Horse Of The Year twice.
But the brilliant four-year-old filly took the award for Cartier Older Horse in 2018. The Khalid Abdullah-owned and bred daughter of Nathaniel was on the sidelines for much of the year, but she made a stunning winning reappearance in the G3 188Bet September Stakes on the All-Weather track at Kempton Park.
A month later, Enable became the eighth horse to win Europe’s premier all-aged middle-distance contest, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, twice. She created more history as the first horse ever to follow up success in the Longchamp feature with victory in the G1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, USA.
Lord Grimthorpe, Racing Manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, received the award and remarked: ”This award is made up of so many extraordinary components and this year has been hugely emotional.
“I would like to start with thanks to Cartier, the panel and the voters. Then there was the drive and patience of Prince Khalid and the genius of John Gosden and his team – Barry, Barry, Thady, Gary, Hannah, Imran who looked after Enable, Rab of course, the skill of Ian Wright and Benoit to bring her back and not least of course the flawless darn that is Frankie Dettori.
“And Enable herself had that extraordinary will to overcome both adversity and adversaries – she is the Queen of Juddmonte. Thank you very, very much.”
Lord Grimthorpe & Laurent Feniou 
There was further success for Gosden with Stradivarius, who gained the Cartier Stayer Award from Kew Gardens, Holdthasigreen and Vazirabad.
Owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen, the four-year-old Sea The Stars colt went through 2018 unbeaten, with his five victories including the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup. He was also successful in the G2 Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup, the G2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup and the G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup. Stradivarius’ tremendous season saw him land the inaugural WH Stayers’ Million, handing a £1-million bonus to connections.
Nielsen said on stage: ”Thank you Cartier, The Daily Telegraph, Racing Post and John Gosden – how did you get a horse like this to peak five times?
“Frankie Dettori’s race riding was brilliant, especially on Champions Day when he had to overcome team tactics. I know it was controversial, but he did. Thank you, thank you.”
Bjorn Nielsen & Laurent Feniou 
A record-equalling fifth equine win on the night for Gosden came courtesy of Too Darn Hot, who bagged the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award. Lord Lloyd-Webber’s homebred son of Dubawi is unbeaten in four outings, ending the campaign with a decisive success in Britain’s premier juvenile contest, the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October.
He was previously successful in the G3 188Bet Solario Stakes at Sandown Park and the G2 Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, and is a hugely-exciting prospect for 2019.
The only other trainer to achieve five equine Cartier Racing Awards in a year has been Aidan O’Brien, who had Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt: Churchill, Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly: Minding, Cartier Stayer: Order Of St George, Cartier Older Horse: Found and Cartier Horse of the Year: Minding in 2016.
Lady Lloyd Webber, after accepting the award from Lauren Feniou along with her husband, said: “Gosh, I didn’t expect to be up here quite so soon after the last one (The Fugue, who won the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award in 2012). I never thought I would be up here again and especially with a colt because we don’t do colts – we try and sell colts.
“This is fantastic and very exciting. This particular colt had a huge team behind him, starting with Simon Marsh who is a visionary and those at the stud and its wonderful managers, Donna and Terry.
“There is also Malcolm Bastard, who really trained him for his first maiden win, Peter Stanley and Nick Wingfield-Digby, who has been very important to this colt. Really there has been a huge team behind Too Darn Hot and I just can’t thank everyone enough.
“And thank you Cartier, this is the pinnacle. We have had a few award ceremonies this season and this is very much the best.”
Lord Lloyd-Webber, described by his wife as the “horse-naming manager”, added: “I must say, it has been a rather extraordinary year for me.
“I had the great luck of getting my first EMMY award and picking up a TONY award for lifetime achievement.
“It was all summed up by what happened when I flew back from Los Angeles the other day. Going through immigration, I was told ‘congratulations’ and I said ‘it has been fantastic year’ and the reply was ‘Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst!’
“Nobody wants to talk about the shows anymore, only Too Darn Hot. But the name did come from a musical and it’s called Kiss Me Kate.”
Lord & Lady Lloyd-Webber with Laurent Feniou 
If one horse lit up the summer of 2018, it was Alpha Centauri who won the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award.
Trained by Jessica Harrington in Ireland for the Niarchos Family, the daughter of Mastercraftsman won a total of four G1 races in 2018, beginning with the mile Classic, the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas in May. She was absolutely outstanding at Royal Ascot, taking the Coronation Stakes by six lengths in course-record time. Another easy success followed when she landed Newmarket’s Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes by four and a half lengths.
She lined up against older horses and colts for the first time at Deauville in August and proved she could take on all comers as she won the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois by an easy two and a half-lengths.
Maria Niarchos-Gouazé said: “I would like to thank Cartier, Laurent, ITV Racing, the Daily Telegraph and Racing Post for this award.
“2018 has been an incredible year. Alpha Centauri has given so much pleasure that her early retirement centres into oblivion. Thank God that she is OK and able to reproduce.
“Her four consecutive victories in G1s in the Guineas, Coronation Stakes, Falmouth and Jacques Le Marois will remain impregnated in our minds.
“I would like to thank the whole team – firstly those who raised her at Coolmore, Jessie and all her stable for training her, Colm (O’Donoghue, jockey) for riding her and Alan Cooper for managing her and last but not least, Alpha Centauri herself.”
Maria Niarchos-Gouazé (centre) & Electra Niarchos with Laurent Feniou 
It was a close battle in the Cartier Sprinter division, with the honours going to Mabs Cross. Trained by Michael Dods in County Durham for owner-breeders David and Emma Armstrong, the four-year-old Dutch Art filly was a model of consistency throughout the year and capped her campaign with a tremendous performance to land the strongest sprint run in 2018, the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines, at Longchamp in October.
Emma Armstrong said: “Thank you. As many of you know, we haven’t been in racing too long – 15 years.
“We are owner-breeders, and we bred Mabs Cross. She was our 100th winner and out of our first winner, Miss Meggy.
“I just can’t thank everyone enough. We are a small family business up in Lancashire and Mabs Cross was owned and bred there. We were told we would never breed a G1 winner in Lancashire and now we have bred two now in Lancashire.
“I would like to thank everyone involved from the staff at Michael and Carole Dods’ yard to Paul (Mulrennan, jockey). It was obviously disappointing he couldn’t see her through all her races (because of injury).
“My daughter Sophie looks after and runs the stud at with her husband – she can’t be here tonight as she is expecting our first grandchild in the next week or two. And my husband David who can’t be here tonight and does all the work in his head. Thank you.”
Emma Armstrong with Laurent Feniou 
The Rogers family is one of Ireland’s great owner-breeders and won the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award with Skitter Scatter.
Trained by Patrick Prendergast for Anthony Rogers and his mother Sonia, the daughter of Scat Daddy improved throughout the season and was rewarded with three successes in Pattern company, culminating with a gutsy two-length victory in the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September.
Anthony Rogers said: “This is great. It means a lot to me and the family.
“I must just say one person who probably a lot of people have forgotten is my father (Captain Tim Rogers, who died in 1984). He got everything going and was an amazing man.
“This one is for my dad.”
Trainer Patrick Prendergast added: “Skitter Scatter is a special filly. She has kept surprising us and kept on improving throughout the season.
“It has been a marvellous journey and I’m delighted to have a filly like her.
“I wasn’t sure she was going to be G1 filly. The biggest thrill I got was when she won the Debutante. I saw that day that she actually loved the step up in trip despite being a very speedy filly and she then struck me with that victory as being a G1 filly. That race showed that she belonged with the best and would stay a mile.
“Ronan Whelan (jockey) is a very popular guy. He wears his heart on his sleeve and loves the game. He had a tumble in Dubai last week, but he is doing well and he always had a lot of faith in the filly.
“She looks like she has grown a little bit and is improving throughout the winter. I’ll keep getting out of bed for her!
“Like all the good fillies, she is very relaxed. She likes her food, her sleep and her work. She is very competitive and we just don’t want her to overdo it.
“I am sure we’ll enter her in 1,000 Guineas trials, but we would be reluctant to run her on heavy ground. A Guineas trial is probably a possibility at somewhere like Leopardstown where they have good drainage and then the 1,000 Guineas could be the plan.
“I am very lucky to have her.”
Patrick Prendergast (left) with Anthony Rogers (centre) & Laurent Feniou 
The Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit went to David Oldrey. One of the greatest talents to have worked in the administration of British horseracing, Oldrey’s impressive CV involved The Jockey Club and the British Horseracing Board as well as numerous other bodies in the racing industry. A successful owner-breeder and racing historian, he is a true polymath.
David Oldrey said: “I think Halsbury’s win in the Cesarewitch gave me my greatest satisfaction as I had a bet on him and was able to live on the winnings for a year or three.
“I think If I have deployed any real skill, it has been in choosing friends. To have actually begun with Peter Walwyn when he was only in his second year and had trained only eight or 10 winners and then to follow up 40 years later with Ralph Beckett when he hadn’t trained any winners was a remarkable bit of luck.
“The whole thing has been enormous entertainment. Racing is a sport – of course it is also an industry, but above anything else it is a sport and that is what appeals it to me in particular.
“A very, very minor change I would make to racing today, a tiny detail, concerns the Cesarewitch. I was absolutely horrified that the Pattern committee, on which I used to sit, decided to fix 110 as the top rating for the Cesarewitch. If I had a horse rated 112 and couldn’t run it in the Cesarewitch I would be apoplectic. Nobody is going to run with over 10 stone so it won’t make any real difference.
“It means a considerable amount to me to win this award and I haven’t really reflected yet – I have only just got it.
“The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association were kind enough to give me their comparable award and the Queen won that the year before. I don’t know if she will speak to me if we happen to meet.
“The whole thing has been an enormous joy. As you get older, the fun matters more. One way I have had fun is that in over 60 years, I don’t think I have ever owned 100 per cent of any horse. There must have been over 100 horses and some always had five, 10, 20 or 30 per cent with me.”
David Oldrey (left) with Marcus Armytage of The Daily Telegraph and Laurent Feniou 
Cartier Horse of the Year & Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt
3 r/g c Kitten’s Joy (USA) – Vionnet (USA) (Street Sense (USA))
2018 Form: 351311110                     Owner: Qatar Racing Limited
Trainer: John Gosden           Breeder: Ranjan Racing Inc  Jockey: Oisin Murphy
Roaring Lion receives both the
Cartier Horse Of The Year and
Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Awards following an outstanding campaign that included consecutive G1 victories in four of Europe’s premier all-aged races.
            The son of Kitten’s Joy, purchased as a yearling by David Redvers on behalf of Qatar Racing Limited for US$160,000 at Keeneland in September, 2016, had already established himself as a high-class juvenile, ending a progressive two-year-old campaign with a neck second to Saxon Warrior in the G1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
            That performance saw the colt take high rank in the betting for this year’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas, although any Classic aspirations took a blow on his seasonal return in the mile G3 bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on April 19, when he could only finish third behind runaway winner Masar.
            Returning to the Rowley Mile for the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas on May 5, Roaring Lion produced an improved effort to take fifth behind his Doncaster conqueror Saxon Warrior, despite having to race on his own down the stands’ rail throughout the closing stages.
            The dark grey colt stepped up to an extended 10 furlongs for the G2 Betfred Dante Stakes at York on May 17, when he powered clear of his rivals for a facile win.
Following such an impressive display in the leading trial for the G1 Investec Derby, Roaring Lion headed to Epsom Downs for the 12-furlong Classic on June 2 as a well-supported second favourite behind old rival Saxon Warrior.
Held up by Oisin Murphy, who rode the colt on all nine of his 2018 starts, Roaring Lion laid down a strong challenge and briefly looked set to press Masar for the lead over a furlong out before failing to see out the trip in third.
A rematch between Roaring Lion and Masar looked on the cards in the G1 Coral-Eclipse on July 7, with the drop back to a mile and a quarter expected to produce a closer finish, although the Godolphin runner was ruled out on the eve of the race with a season-ending leg injury.
Nevertheless, the Sandown Park showpiece produced a tremendous battle between two three-year-old colts as Roaring Lion circumnavigated the field in the straight before bravely edging out Saxon Warrior by a neck in a pulsating finish, with the pair coming together near the line.
Having established himself as one of Europe’s leading horses over a mile and a quarter, Roaring Lion was kept over the same trip for the G1 Juddmonte International at York on August 22, when he faced a formidable line-up, with six of his seven rivals having already registered G1 victories earlier in the season.
After tracking the leaders, Roaring Lion travelled strongly to take up the running just inside the final quarter-mile before forging clear in the closing stages for a decisive victory over leading four-year-old Poet’s Word, who had previously annexed the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO).
Roaring Lion headed across the Irish Sea for his first appearance outside Britain in the 10-furlong G1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 15. In a similar race to the Coral-Eclipse two months earlier, Roaring Lion had to overcome a strong contingent from Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien, but the result was exactly the same, with the Qatar Racing Limited colt once again showing his exceptional talent and tenacity to come with a good run and beat Saxon Warrior by a neck.
Connections took the sporting call to drop Roaring Lion back to a mile for the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO) on British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20.
Making the first appearance of his career on properly soft ground, Roaring Lion displayed his class to repel I Can Fly near the line and prevail by a neck in less than ideal conditions.
If dropping Roaring Lion back to a mile for Ascot was a bold move, the decision to let the colt race on dirt for the first time in the 10-furlong G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, USA, on November 3 appeared an altogether more fanciful choice. After breaking slowly, Roaring Lion failed to cope with the kick-back and was eased to come home last of the 14 runners.
Roaring Lion has been retired to stand at Tweenhills, home of Qatar Racing stallions, with Qatar Racing Chairman Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani describing him as “the horse of a lifetime”.
Cartier Older Horse
4 b f Nathaniel (IRE) – Concentric (Sadler’s Wells (USA))
2018 Form: 111                     Owner: Khalid Abdullah
Trainer: John Gosden           Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Ltd        Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Enable joins a select group of horses to win a Cartier Racing Award in two separate years, receiving the prize for Cartier Older Horse following a breathtaking autumn campaign that saw her create history in both Europe and North America.
The four-year-old Nathaniel filly, homebred by owner Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms and trained by John Gosden, was the undisputed star of the 2017 season, gaining both Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Awards after winning five G1 races including a stunning victory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
She was due to contest some of the summer’s top middle-distance races, including defending her title in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO), but missed the first half of the 2018 season after swelling was discovered in one of her knees.
Enable made her belated return in the G3 188Bet September Stakes over a mile and a half on Polytrack at Kempton Park on September 8. Despite taking on just three rivals, the filly would face a stern examination on her seasonal debut, with G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) runner-up Crystal Ocean among her opponents.
Sent to the front by Frankie Dettori, Enable drew the sting out of Crystal Ocean, who was conceding 8lb, before quickening clear under hands and heels ride from Frankie Dettori for an impressive three and a half-length success.
Described by Gosden as being “80 to 85 percent fit” for her comeback run, Enable headed to Longchamp, France, on October 7, to try and win Europe’s middle-distance showpiece, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, for a second successive time.
Sent off a red-hot favourite for the 12-furlong contest, Enable tracked the leaders before bursting clear of the field entering the final furlong, readily opening up daylight over her 18 rivals.
But she had to be kept up to her work by Dettori as Sea Of Class flew home from the rear, with Enable holding on by a short-neck to become the first British-trained horse to win the great race twice, and the eighth dual winner in total.
Enable continued on her travels for her next start as she shipped out to Churchill Downs, USA, for the G1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, again over a mile and a half, on November 3.
No horse had managed to complete the Arc-Breeders’ Cup Turf double, but Enable was ideally positioned throughout by Dettori, who kept the filly wide, away from the worst ground, before committing her for home at the top of the straight.
Her only danger proved to be another filly, fellow European challenger Magical, as the duo lengthened clear of the field with Enable getting the better of her three-year-old rival by three-quarters of a length in a thrilling climax, with the pair well clear of the third.
No decision has been made whether Enable will remain in training as a five-year-old but, regardless of future plans, she has already proven herself to be one the great fillies of modern times.
Cartier Stayer
4 ch c Sea The Stars (IRE) – Private Life (FR) (Bering)
2018 form: 11111                  Owner: Bjorn Nielsen
Trainer: John Gosden Breeder: Bjorn Nielsen Jockey: Frankie Dettori/Andrea Atzeni
Stradivarius carried all before him in 2018 and lifts the Cartier Stayer Award for owner/breeder Bjorn Nielsen.
Trained by John Gosden in Newmarket, Stradivarius achieved what many thought was impossible at the start of the season as he scooped the inaugural WH Stayers’ Million during an unbeaten campaign.
The £1-million bonus, offered by Weatherbys Hamilton, is awarded to connections of a horse that can win one of four designated prep races in May and then goes on to victory in the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup and G2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York.
Stradivarius’ exploits as a three-year-old, which saw him defeat Big Orange in the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup and finish a close third in a red-hot renewal of the G1 William Hill St Leger, made him one of the more likely candidates after the initiative was announced in January.
The chestnut, likened to ‘Mighty Mouse’ at Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables due to his diminutive stature, began his pursuit of the WH Stayers’ Million with a comfortable three-length victory in the G2 Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup at York on May 18.
Attention now turned to the most prestigious staying prize of the season, the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, and the unique challenge it presents over the seldom-run distance of two and a half miles.
A vintage field assembled in opposition; Cartier’s champion stayer for the last two seasons, Order Of St George, was bidding to regain the Gold Cup crown following his narrow defeat in 2017, the Aga Khan’s prolific and classy six-year-old Vazirabad travelled over from France and Torcedor had WH Stayers’ Million in his sights too following an impressive five-length victory in the G3 Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot on May 2.
            The four of them served up a treat down the Ascot home straight, with less than a length between them as they approached the final furlong. Stradivarius edged his way to the front under Frankie Dettori and held the challenges of Vazirabad and Torcedor by three-quarters of a length and neck in what Gosden described as a “stunningly good race.”
            What had looked nearly impossible at the start of the season now appeared possible as Stradivarius had the final two legs of the WH Stayers’ Million in his sights.
Andrea Atzeni was in the saddle for the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup, as he had been in 2017, with Dettori suspended. Torcedor again made Stradivarius work thanks to a clever front-running ride from Colm O’Donoghue, but Stradivarius’ finishing kick was decisive as he scored cosily by a half-length.
York’s Ebor Festival was the setting the for G2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup three weeks later. Stradivarius had a 3lb penalty to contend with thanks to his G1 exploits, though none of his main rivals from Ascot or Goodwood were in opposition. It turned out to be his least impressive performance of the campaign, as he laboured to a length and a half victory over Count Octave, but crucially the WH Stayers’ Million was in the bag.
Following a two-month break, and with the help of an excellent rail-hugging ride from Dettori, Stradivarius overcame testing ground to win the G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on October 20. He is the first Gold Cup winner for 50 years to enjoy an unbeaten season.
Stradivarius is set to stay in training as a five-year-old, with the WH Stayers’ Million firmly on the agenda again.
Cartier Sprinter
4 b f Dutch Art – Miss Meggy (Pivotal)
2018 Form: 2143321             Owner: David Armstrong
Trainer: Michael Dods                      Breeder: Highfield Farm LLP
Jockey: Paul Mulrennan/Silvestre De Sousa/Tom Eaves/Gerald Mosse
Mabs Cross becomes the sixth filly or mare to receive the
Cartier Sprinter Award following an extremely consistent season which culminated with a deserved first G1 victory in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines.
The four-year-old daughter of Dutch Art, trained by Michael Dods in County Durham for owner-breeders David and Emma Armstrong, showed a progressive profile last year, winning four consecutive races over five furlongs including a Listed contest at Musselburgh in October.
All seven of Mabs Cross’s appearances this year came over five furlongs and she made a pleasing return to action in a Listed race at Bath on April 20, when she ran on well from the rear to go down by a neck to three-year-old Mrs Gallagher, who was receiving 13lb.
Mabs Cross showed the benefit of that run when she got up on the line to beat Judicial by a neck in the G3 Longholes Palace House Stakes at Newmarket on May 5, a race which also featured subsequent G1 winners Alpha Delphini in third and Havana Grey in fifth.
She continued her rise on her next two starts, following up a close fourth behind Battaash in the G2 Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes at Haydock Park on May 26 with a fine third on her G1 debut in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19.
Having proved herself among the best five-furlong sprinters in Europe, Mabs Cross was sent off favourite for the G2 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, on July 22, but she could only finish third of seven behind Havana Grey and Caspian Prince with Tom Eaves up instead of injured regular rider Paul Mulrennan.
The filly bounced back to her best on her next appearance in the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on August 24.
Covered up amongst the 15 runners by Eaves, Mabs Cross ran on strongly to challenge Alpha Delphini for the advantage inside the final furlong, with the duo flashing past the post locked together. Following an agonising wait, Alpha Delphini was given the verdict by the narrowest of margins.
Mabs Cross headed to Longchamp, France, for her final start of the season in the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines on October 7. Dods and the owners turned to legendary French rider Gerald Mosse to partner the sprinter. In 2012, Mosse had partnered Wizz Kid in the same race, getting the better of the owners’ Mayson by a neck.
Settled in mid-field, Mabs Cross displayed her customary turn of foot as she swooped late to beat Gold Vibe by a head and gain the biggest success of her career, with Battaash, Havana Grey and Alpha Delphini all in behind.
Mabs Cross is set to stay in training next year and will be aimed at Europe’s premier sprints again.
Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly
3 g f Mastercraftsman (IRE) – Alpha Lupi (IRE) (Rahy (USA))
2018 Form: 011112               Owner: Niarchos Family
Trainer: Jessica Harrington IRE Breeder: Niarchos Family Jockey: Colm O’Donoghue
            The Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award goes to Alpha Centauri following her stunning four-timer in G1 mile races during the summer.
            A first Classic winner for her trainer Jessica Harrington, the daughter of Mastercraftsman is the latest in a long line of stars produced by her owner and breeder the Niarchos Family.
            In the first half of her two-year-old campaign, Alpha Centauri ranked among the best of her generation following two easy victories at Naas and a narrow defeat in the G3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
            But she only ran once more that season, when a well-beaten fifth behind Happily in the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September, and came into the new Flat season somewhat under the radar.
            That continued after her first start of 2018 in the G3 Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April, as she failed to make any impression on heavy ground and finished 10th.
            Despite the inauspicious start, connections were confident of a bold showing back on good ground in the G1 Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 27 and Alpha Centauri obliged, swooping down the outside under Colm O’Donoghue to score by a length and three-quarters at 12/1.
            The best was still to come though as next time out Alpha Centauri posted one of the performances of the season in the G1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. She cruised all over the opposition, which included the winners of the English and French 1,000 Guineas, before storming clear to win by six lengths. Incredibly, the winning time of 1m 35.89 was over a second inside the previous track record held by Barney Roy.
Following a four and a half-length success in the G1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s July Festival, she was set her toughest assignment of the season in France’s premier all-aged mile race, the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Les Marois at Deauville on August, meeting colts for the first time.
France’s leading older horse Recoletos was expected to give her a race back on home turf after a below par effort at Royal Ascot, but he could not go with Alpha Centauri over the last two furlongs as she scored decisively by two and a half lengths.
Alpha Centauri sustained an injury on her final start when beaten three quarters of length by Laurens in the G1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on September 15.
Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt
2 b c Dubawi (IRE) – Dar Re Mi (Singspiel IRE))
2018 Form: 1111       Owner: Lord Lloyd Webber
Trainer: John Gosden           Breeder: Watership Down Stud        Jockey: Frankie Dettori
A faultless juvenile campaign, headed by an impressive victory in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, sees Too Darn Hot win the Award for
Cartier-Two-Year-Old Colt.
The son of Dubawi was bred at Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber’s Watership Down Stud and is the son of their exceptional mare Dar Re Mi, winner of three G1 races including the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Like all of the Lloyd-Webber’s colts, Too Darn Hot was initially due to be sold as a yearling, but he missed his date with the sales ring due to a minor injury. Sent into training with John Gosden, he created a striking impression on his racecourse debut under Frankie Dettori when bolting up by seven lengths in a mile maiden at Sandown Park on August 9.
Too Darn Hot returned to the Esher, Surrey course for his next start in the G3 188Bet Solario Stakes over seven furlongs on September 1, when he once again outclassed rivals to come home four lengths clear of Listed Chesham Stakes winner Arthur Kitt.
He continued his improvement with another scintillating display over seven furlongs in the G2 Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger Meeting on September 15.
Taking up the running approaching the final furlong, Too Darn Hot readily went clear to beat subsequent G1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes second Phoenix Of Spain by an easy length and three-quarters.
Too Darn Hot was stepped up to G1 level for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, again over seven furlongs, at Newmarket on October 13. On paper, he faced by far his toughest to date, with G1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes victor Advertise, G1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes runner-up Anthony Van Dyck and exciting Listed winner Sangarius among the opposition.
After briefly looking outpaced as the runners quickened entering the final quarter-mile, Too Darn Hot ran on strongly and forged ahead in the closing stages to win impressively by two and three-quarter lengths from Advertise.
That effort cemented Too Darn Hot’s position at the head of the betting for two 2019 Classics, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the Investec Derby.
The Dubawi colt heads into the winter as one of the most exciting juveniles of recent years.
Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly
2 b f Scat Daddy (USA) – Dane Street (USA) (Street Cry (IRE))
2018 Form: 3132111             Owner: Anthony Rogers & Mrs Sonia Rogers
Trainer: Patrick Prendergast IRE Breeder: Three Chimneys Farm Llc & Airlie Stud Jockey: Ronan Whelan
            Skitter Scatter takes the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award for trainer Patrick Prendergast, and owners Anthony Rogers and his mother Sonia Rogers, whose Airlie Stud bred the filly in partnership with Three Chimneys Farm.
            The daughter of Scat Daddy enjoyed a faultless second half of the season that saw her win three stakes races on the bounce, culminating with a first G1 success for Prendergast and regular rider Ronan Whelan in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh on September 16.
            Skitter Scatter was consistent in the first half of the campaign. After finishing third in the second two-year-old race of the season on Polytrack at Dundalk on March 28, she returned to the All-Weather venue two weeks later and defeated Sergei Prokofiev by a short-head.
            Black type followed on her next two starts as she finished third in the Listed Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes at Naas on May 20 and second in the G3 Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh on July 1, both over six furlongs.
            Her winning streak started once she was upped to seven furlongs for the G3 Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown in late July, which she took cosily by a length and a half.
            The rising finish at the Curragh played to her strengths next time out as she posted a two and a quarter-length success in the G2 Debutante Stakes on August 26, with the likes of subsequent G1 Fillies’ Mile heroine Iridessa in behind.
            G1 glory followed for Skitter Scatter back at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend in a warm renewal of G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. Just as in her previous starts, she responded gamely under pressure and ultimately ran out a decisive two-length winner of the 10-runner seven-furlong contest.
            She heads into winter as one of the leading contenders for the fillies’ Classic, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket in May next year.
Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit
Arthur David Gerald Oldrey was born on December 10, 1937, and has spent a lifetime dedicated to racing, mostly in a behind-the-scenes capacity.
He has been a true polymath of the sport – an owner, breeder, author, racing historian, administrator and innovator – and a modest one.
Former British Horseracing Board chairman Peter Savill describes David as: ”A very humble man, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything to do with racing.”
Having practiced as a chartered accountant, the Old Stoic (those who had been to Stowe public school) decided in 1988 that he would prefer to leave the world of accounting behind and revert to his farm at Cold Brayfield, close to Olney in Buckinghamshire.
By the late 1980s it had become increasingly clear that racing’s system of governance was simply not up to the task of taking the sport forward. In essence, it was a system designed for the 19th century still in use on the dawn of the 21st century.
The year 1993 saw the establishment of the British Horseracing Board, which took over the administration and promotion of racing from The Jockey Club.
David was appointed as one of the original directors of the BHB and served as Chairman of the Race Planning Committee.
His tenure at the BHB saw one of the biggest overhauls in race programming in the post-war period, with the axing of a large number of uncompetitive graduation races which were very unappealing to the vast majority of racegoers and which provided very limited betting opportunities.
His 13-and-a-half years in race planning also witnessed the introduction of rated and classified contests, ensuring that “twilight” horses (i.e. those trapped between Pattern and handicaps) had adequate opportunities.
His great friend Sir Mathew Thorpe, a retired Lord Justice of Appeal, described David as: “He is essentially a traditionalist, but he saw the absolute need for reform.”
Julian Richmond-Watson, former Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, added: “In the last 30 years, he has been the driver of everything that we know and we see on the racecourse now.”
Longstanding Newmarket trainer Sir Mark Prescott declared: ”The modern framework of racing which British trainers and owners operate under is Mr Oldrey’s invention.”
Alongside his commitments in race programming, David also served for 12 years as a Steward at The Jockey Club, both on the racecourse and at the organisation’s former headquarters in London’s Portman Square.
His dedication to the role, which involved a period as Deputy Senior Steward, can be emphasised by the fact that only one of the forefathers of the sport, Admiral Henry Rous, has served a longer tenure as a Steward in the history of The Jockey Club.
His role at The Jockey Club was one which required considerable integrity and discretion, involving deciding which cases were worthy of being forwarded to the disciplinary committee for a hearing.
Oldrey was also a director of the Levy Board at the same time and, following his retirement from race planning and The Jockey Club, he went on to be president of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association from 2001 to 2006. He has also served as director of the National Horseracing Museum and Warwick Racecourse, as well as a governor of the Equine Fertility Unit and Chairman of the Equine Genome Project.
As an owner, David has enjoyed considerable success on the racecourse, with his headline victories coming with horses trained by the late Peter Walwyn. His colt Oats, a multiple G3 winner, finished third behind Empery in the 1976 Derby at Epsom and went on to enjoy success as a jump stallion, with the 1995 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Master Oats and 1994 Champion Hurdle heroine Flakey Dove among his best offspring.
Crozier won Britain’s oldest staying race, the Doncaster Cup, in 1967, while David’s colours were carried to success in the same race again by Wagoner in 1984.
Among his homebred performers, Halsbury won the 1981 Cesarewitch at Newmarket and progressed to be placed in Pattern company. Halsbury’s success in the famous marathon handicap was particularly sweet for David as he backed the son of Exbury, returned at 14/1, all the way down from 33/1.
When Peter Walwyn retired at the end of the 1999 season, David supported the trainer’s successor at Windsor House, Ralph Beckett, and enjoyed his most recent Pattern race success with the Beckett-trained Redstart in the 2015 G3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury.
Ralph Beckett said: “David is completely unflappable, and of the highest integrity…David is extraordinary and unique in that he has only employed two trainers in 50 years. Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to start training.”
If all his achievements in racing administration and on the racecourse were not enough, David is also a dedicated and respected historian of the turf.
Elected to The Jockey Club in 1984, he wrote the well-received The Jockey Club Rooms: A Catalogue and History of the Collection, an inventory of the organisation’s outstanding equine art collection, in 2006.
He was also co-author of The Heath & The Horse: A History of Newmarket Heath, which was published in 2015 and is described by trainer Sir Mark Prescott as “the definitive history of Newmarket”.
Modest and self-effacing, David may not be the most high-profile individual to ever win the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit, but he is one of the people there in the background that ensures racing runs as smoothly as possible and moves forward with the times.
As Peter Savill explained: “This award could not have gone to a greater gentleman, but also to someone who has always had racing’s interests at heart.”
Oldrey’s contribution to racing cannot be underestimated.
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