Roaring Lion pounces late to advertise his credentials for Cartier Horse Of The Year

Roaring Lion stormed to the head of the standings for Cartier Horse Of The Year following a sensational weekend of European racing that featured eight G1 contests across three countries.

The three-year-old colt, owned by Qatar Racing Limited and trained by John Gosden, gained a third consecutive G1 success with a swooping neck verdict over Saxon Warrior in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, Ireland, on September 15.

Roaring Lion has now accrued 174 points in Pattern races so far this season, having also achieved G1 victories in the Juddmonte International at York on August 22 and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park on July 7 to add to his Irish Champions Weekend success.

He may now head for the G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20, and victory at the finale of the British Flat season could help the son of Kitten’s Joy clinch both the Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Awards for 2018.

The 28th Cartier Racing Awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England, on the evening of Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

The longstanding and prestigious awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. There are eight equine awards, ranging from the Cartier Horse Of The Year to the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and 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 latest recipients have been Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O’Brien, Jack Berry, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Jim Bolger, Team Frankel, Barry Hills, Richard Hannon, John Oxx and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Roaring Lion’s nearest challenger in the race to be crowned Cartier Horse Of The Year, Alpha Centauri (160), also ran on the same Leopardstown card, with the Niarchos Family-owned filly finishing second to Laurens (120) in the G1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.

Alpha Centauri, a four-time G1 winner for Jessica Harrington this season, was found to have a chip in a fetlock following her shock defeat and the outstanding three-year-old filly was immediately retired.

The daughter of Mastercraftsman still holds a significant advantage in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly standings, with her Leopardstown conqueror moving up to second in the same category after notching a third G1 success of the season.

Laurens, trained by Karl Burke for owner John Dance, could further her Cartier Racing Awards credentials at Newmarket next month, with the G1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes on October 6 under consideration for the filly as well as the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs on November 3.

Saxon Warrior (104), successful in the G1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, was also retired following his second to Roaring Lion, but owners Coolmore enjoyed a pair of G1 victories with fellow three-year-old colts Kew Gardens (84) and Flag Of Honour (58).

Both horses were trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, with Kew Gardens staying on well to take the final Classic of the British season, the G1 William Hill St Leger at Doncaster on September 15.

The same trainer/jockey combination teamed up 24 hours later at the Curragh with Flag Of Honour (58), who comfortably beat G1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby victor Latrobe (52) to capture the G1 Comer Group International Irish St Leger on day two of Irish Champions Weekend.

Both colts still have significant ground to make up on the current leader in the Cartier Stayer rankings, Stradivarius (112), and a trip back down in trip for the G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, France, on October 7 could be on the cards for Kew Gardens.

The Cartier Sprinter category is wide open, with four horses currently tied on 48 points – Battaash, Brando, Merchant Navy and improving three-year-old Havana Grey, who gained a breakthrough first G1 success in the five-furlong Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes for in-form Burke at the Curragh on September 16.

The Havana Gold colt, owned by Global Racing Club and Elaine Burke, is set to head out to Churchill Downs, USA, for a crack at the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on November 3.

Unbeaten Quorto (48) firmly entered calculations for Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt honours with a determined victory for Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby in the G1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes on the same Curragh card, emulating his sire Dubawi, who took the seven-furlong race in 2004, with only the Martyn Meade-trained Advertise (56) ahead of him.

Also at the Curragh on Sunday, Skitter Scatter (60), provided trainer Paddy Prendergast and jockey Ronan Whelan with their first G1 successes in the Moyglare Stud Stakes – a performance that saw Anthony and Sonia Rogers’ filly leap to the head of the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly standings.

Longchamp offered up several clues for the next month’s G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with a tremendous card on Sunday, September 16, including a big-race double for legendary trainer Andre Fabre.

Godolphin’s four-year-old filly Kitesurf (56) annexed the G1 Qatar Prix Vermeille, while Waldgiest (72), owned by Gestut Ammerland and Newsells Park, gained a fourth consecutive win with an impressive display in the G2 Qatar Prix Foy.

Both Cartier Older Horse contenders look set to return to Longchamp for the middle-distance highlight, which is also set to feature 2017 Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Cracksman (88) and stable companion Enable (8), last year’s Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly, whose 2018 season has been restricted to one run so far –a glorious comeback at Kempton Park in the G3 188Bet September Stakes.

Sector leader is Poet’s Word 140 points, who will not run again this year because of an injury.


Cartier Racing Awards – points earned in Pattern races up to and including Sunday, September 16, 2018


Cartier Horse Of The Year

Roaring Lion                174

Alpha Centauri             160

Poet’s Word                 140

Laurens                         120

Stradivarius                  112

Recoletos                     104

Saxon Warrior              104

Cracksman                   88

Kew Gardens               84

Forever Together          80


Cartier Older Horse

Poet’s Word                 140

Recoletos                     104

Cracksman                   88

Lightning Spear             76

Waldgeist                     72


Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt

Roaring Lion                174

Saxon Warrior              104

Kew Gardens               84

Masar                           68

Flag Of Honour             58


Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly

Alpha Centauri             160

Laurens                         120

Forever Together          80

Sea Of Class                 64

Wild Illusion                64


Cartier Sprinter

Battaash                       48

Brando                         48

Havana Grey                48

Merchant Navy             48

Blue Point                    46


Cartier Stayer

Stradivarius                  112

Flag Of Honour             56

Vazirabad                    55

Kew Gardens               48

Torcedor                      36


Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt

Advertise                     56

Quorto                         48

Anthony Van Dyck       40

Soldier’s Call                26

Marie’s Diamond          24

Too Darn Hot               24


Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly

Skitter Scatter               60

Pretty Pollyanna           48

Signora Cabello             48

Beyond Reason             24

So Perfect                    24

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