The outstanding three-year-old filly Enable has been named the Cartier Horse of the Year at the 27th annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars.
The 2017 Cartier Racing Awards were presented at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel.
From the first crop of Nathaniel, Enable recorded five consecutive G1 victories in 2017. Owned by Khalid Abdullah, trained by John Gosden in Newmarket and ridden by Frankie Dettori, Enable was very impressive against her own sex in two Classics, the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs and the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh, winning by five lengths each time, before easily defeating all-aged, all-sex opposition in Ascot’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
After capturing a third Oaks at York in August, the G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks, Enable created history by becoming the first British-trained filly to win Europe’s most valuable race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly. Her comfortable two and a half-length victory against a high-class field was an outstanding performance and the prospect of Enable staying in training in 2018 whets the appetite of all racing enthusiasts. The three other Cartier Horse of the Year nominees were Cracksman, Ribchester and Ulysses.
Enable also easily takes the honours in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award from Winter, Lady Aurelia and Roly Poly, while her stable companion Cracksman, owned by Anthony Oppenheimer, becomes the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt following his impressive seven-length success in the G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot in October. Cracksman saw off challenges from Harry Angel, Churchill and Barney Roy.
Even by his own incredibly high standards, Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien enjoyed an outstanding 2017 as he sent out a worldwide record of 27 G1 winners. O’Brien is responsible for both the 2017 Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt, U S Navy Flag, and the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly, Happily, while Order Of St George scoops the Cartier Stayer Award for the second year in succession.
U S Navy Flag became the first horse since Diesis in 1982 to win both the G1 Shadwell Middle Park Stakes and the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes. He took the honour ahead of stable companions Saxon Warrior and Mendelssohn, plus Roaring Lion.
Happily was also a dual winner at G1 level and she captured the Cartier Award from the other three nominees Clemmie, Laurens and Heartache.
Order Of St George maintained a high level of form throughout the year, headed by a nine-length success in the G1 Comer Group Irish St Leger, but faced strong opposition from Big Orange for the Cartier Stayer Award, with Stradivarius and Vazirabad following on.
Thrilling Harry Angel is the winner of the 2017 Cartier Sprinter Award. The Godolphin-owned three-year-old colt, trained by Clive Cox, showed tremendous versatility with victories over six furlongs on good to firm ground in Newmarket’s G1 Darley July Cup and on heavy ground in the G1 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park. He finished on top from Marsha, Battaash and Lady Aurelia.
Ulysses is the Cartier Older Horse for 2017, after registering a G1 10-furlong double in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park and the Juddmonte International at York, though it was a close-run affair with star miler Ribchester. Highland Reel and Talismanic were the other two nominees.
Ulysses’ trainer Sir Michael Stoute is recognised at the 2017 Cartier Racing Awards as he receives the Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit. Since he commenced his training career in Newmarket in 1972, the Barbados-born Stoute has blossomed into a master of his profession with G1 victories across the globe.
Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, commented: “It has been another tremendous year in European horseracing and I would like to extend congratulations to all the winners at the 2017 Cartier Racing Awards.
“Enable enjoyed five commanding victories at G1 level and her performances, particularly at Ascot and Chantilly, mark her out as a filly of rare distinction. She is a very appropriate winner of Cartier Horse of the Year.
“Similarly her stable companion Cracksman was an outstanding winner at Ascot in the autumn, capping a superb season for her trainer John Gosden.
“The prospect of Enable, Cracksman and Harry Angel, the Cartier Sprinter for 2017, all retuning next year is a mouth-watering prospect.
“Of course, 2017 will be remembered as the year when Aidan O’Brien sent out a record 27 G1 winners and he and the Coolmore team are rewarded with Cartier Racing Awards for U S Navy Flag, Happily and Order Of St George.
“Sir Michael Stoute has been a master of his profession for over 40 years and he is a most worthy recipient of the Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit. His handling of Ulysses in 2017 was outstanding and sees that colt named as Cartier Older Horse.”