Golden Horn the big winner at the Cartier Racing Awards

November 13, 2015 01:44pm
Golden Horn Arc 615 X 400
Photo: Sandra Scherning

As expected, Golden Horn was the biggest winner at last night’s Cartier Racing Awards honoring the best of European racing during the 2015 season. The three-year-old son of Cape Cross collected both his divisional honor, as well as the ultimate honor as the Cartier Horse of the Year. The winners of the 2015 Cartier Awards are as follows…

Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt & Horse of the Year: Golden Horn - With six wins and two seconds from eight starts this year, the John Gosden trained star was a force in European racing the entire season. Among his most important victories in 2015 include some of the most important grass races in the world. He dominated his peers in the prestigious and historic Epsom Derby, before taking the measure of older horses in races like the Coral Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes, and of course, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The ambitious sophomore campaign for Golden Horn ended when he travelled to the U.S. for the Breeders’ Cup Turf, where he ran well, but was edged by fellow European, Found.

Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly: Legatissimo - Like Golden Horn, Europe’s champion three-year-old filly was beaten on the square at Keeneland, when she could not run down Stephanie’s Kitten in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. It did little to tarnish her excellent season, though, as she had enough trouble to believe that she very well may have been best that afternoon. Before arriving to Kentucky, the daughter of Danehill Dancer had beaten older mares in successive Group 1 affairs in England and Ireland in the Nassau Stakes and Matron Stakes. Adding to her terrific 2015, which concluded with a 8-4-3-0 record, Legatissimo won the important English 1000 Guineas in the spring. Interestingly, the filly she beat out for this honor, Found, was the conqueror of Golden Horn in the BC Turf.

Cartier Older Horse: Solow - What a year it was for this five-year-old gelding from the Freddy Head yard. Six races, and six wins. Adding to an overall nine-race winning streak, the gray middle distance specialist collected five Group 1 wins this year in three different countries. Most notably, Solow assertively accounted for the Dubai Turf at Meydan, Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp, as well as the Queen Anne Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. As good as the American filly Tepin was this year, it would be hard to call anyone other than Solow the world’s best miler in 2015.

Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt: Air Force Blue - The son of War Front proved to be the best juvenile in Europe this year with a 5-4-1-0 record for trainer, Aidan O’Brien. From the powerful Magnier, Tabor, and Smith ownership team, Air Force Blue bounced back from his only career defeat by winning a trio of Group 1 races in Ireland and England by open lengths, including the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes. No talk of next year’s one-mile classics can begin without mention of Air Force Blue.

Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly: Minding - Impeccably bred, the daughter of Galileo and Lillie Langtry clinched a championship with an overpowering victory in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in September. The romping 4 ½ length, Group 1 victory capped a solid season which saw her finish with a 5-3-2-0 record. She also won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes in Ireland the race before, in which she took revenge on one of her main competitors for the championship, in Ballydoyle.

Cartier Sprinter: Muhaarar - The three-year-old bounced back nicely after a disappointing eighth in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches for trainer Charlie Hills and owner by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. After cutting back in distance, the son of Oasis Dream finished his championship season with four straight Group 1 victories, culminating with a two length score in the QIPCO British Champion Sprint at Ascot to end his 6-5-0-0 season

Cartier Stayer: Simple Verse - Another who finished the season in grand style, the three-year-old daughter of Duke of Marmalade, proved to be a real tiger at distances of 12 furlongs or longer. After breaking her maiden in her third try in April, and finishing second in a May handicap race, the Ralph Beckett trained miss rattled off four straight while moving steadily up in class. Her 8-5-1-1 season concluded with important Group 1 victories, first over the boys in the English St. Leger, and then in Ascot’s British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes.

And last, but not least, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit was awarded to Jack Berry. The 78-year-old has spent a lifetime in racing as a jockey and trainer as well as a tireless fundraiser and campaigner for injured jockeys. This year saw the culmination of his fundraising activities with the opening of the new £3-million Jack Berry House in Malton, Yorkshire, which offers top-quality facilities for jockeys recovering from injury in the north of England.


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Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

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