Aidan O’Brien’s super-filly Minding, was named Cartier horse of the year at the 26th annual Cartier Racing Awards last night, European horseracing’s Oscars. The three-year-old filly was a five-time Group One winner in 2016 with victories in the 1,000 Guineas, Investec Oaks, Pretty Polly Stakes, Qatar Nassau Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Minding also took the honours in the Three-Year-Old Filly category ahead of Alice Springs, Quiet Reflection and La Cressonniere.

Two fillies made history at the awards. Quiet Reflection became the first three-year-old filly to win the Cartier Sprinter Award. This follows her Group One wins in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park. Owned by Hubert Strecker,Karl and Elaine Buke, and the Ontoawinner syndicate, the Showcasing filly, who beat the likes of Limato, Mecca’s Angel and The Tin Man to the Sprinter Award, was bought at the Goffs Breeze up sales for just £44,000.

Karl Burke, Trainer, said; “Quiet Reflection is a once in a lifetime filly. She’s campaigned in all the top sprints, won two Group Ones as well as other Group and Listed races in her short career thus far. She has given her owners some fantastic days out and was bought for only a fraction of what she is worth today.”

Also making history was Lady Aurelia who became the first US trained horse to win an award. Following a breath-taking all-the-way win in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and victory in the Group One Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, she captured the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award ahead of Rhododendron, Brave Anna and Roly Poly.

The fillies’ success at last night’s awards will come as a huge boost to the #ThisFillycan Campaign. The Campaign, a joint initiative between the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA), and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), was a result of the Authority’s recent review of the fillies’ and mares’ race programme. The review proved that the reality of owning a filly is far removed from the widespread perception that they are an inferior product in comparison to the males of the breed. The study showed that the quality of fillies racing is improving, the number of race opportunities are growing, fillies will retain a residual value after their racing careers, and on average once rated 75+ a filly will earn more than her male counterparts. The aim is to increase awareness of the wide range of race opportunities for fillies and improve perceptions of fillies’ earning potential (value).

Phillip Newton, TBA board member and Spokesperson the #ThisFillycan campaign, commented;

“It’s great to see these fillies being recognised for their fine performances throughout the season. Quiet Reflection was bought for just £44,000 as a two-year-old and will now be worth considerably more.  Quiet Reflection, alongside the likes of Mecca’s Angel and Mrs Danvers are proof to potential buyers that fillies often represent unbelievable value.’’