Minding has tonight been named the Cartier Horse of the Year at the 26th annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars.
The three-year-old Galileo filly, owned by a Coolmore partnership, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, was a five-time Group One winner in 2016 with victories, at distances ranging from a mile to a mile and a half, including two British Classics, the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas and Investec Oaks.
Minding achieved Cartier Racing Awards’ glory last year too, as she was crowned Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly in 2015 when she enjoyed two Group 1 victories. Her rivals in the Cartier Horse Of The Year category were Almanzor, Found, Postponed and recent Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Highland Reel. Both Found and Highland Reel are stable companions of Minding.
Minding also takes the honours in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly category, ahead of Alice Springs, Quiet Reflection and La Cressonniere.
Coolmore’s Found, who led home a remarkable 1-2-3 for O’Brien and the owners in Europe’s richest race, last month’s Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is named Cartier Older Horse. The other contenders for Cartier Older Horse Award were Postponed, Limato and Highland Reel.
Order Of St George, winner of the Group 1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, is another success for Coolmore and O’Brien, with the four-year-old landing the Cartier Stayer Award ahead of Quest For More, Vazirabad and Sheikzayedroad.
The fifth award to go to a Coolmore/O’Brien horse, in a stellar year, is Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt, won by Churchill. The Galileo colt finished a superb campaign with Group One victories in two of Europe’s best juvenile contests – the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes. The other nominees in this category were Caravaggio, The Last Lion and Mehmas.
Alamanzor takes the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award. Owned by Ecurie Antonio Caro and Gerard Augustin-Normand, the son of Wootton Basset was superbly handled by Jean-Claude Rouget, who trains in South-West France, winning the Prix du Jockey Club and QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes. The other Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt nominees were Galileo Gold, Harzand and The Gurkha.
Two fillies make history at the 26th Cartier Racing Awards. Firstly, Quiet Reflection becomes the first three-year-old filly to win the Cartier Sprinter Award. This follows her victories at the highest level in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park. Owned by Ontoawinner, Hubert Strecker and Karl and Elaine Buke, the Karl Burke-trained Showcasing filly gains the Cartier Sprinter Award in tight finish ahead of Limato, Mecca’s Angel and The Tin Man.
Lady Aurelia is the other history-maker, as she is the first horse trained in the USA to win a Cartier Racing Award. Following a breathtaking all-the-way win in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and victory in the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, she captures the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award ahead of Rhododendron, Brave Anna and Roly Poly. Lady Aurelia is owned by Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton and Peter Leidel and trained by Wesley Ward.
The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to Aidan O’Brien. Even by his own exemplary standards, the trainer, based at Ballydoyle in Ireland, has enjoyed a magnificent 2016, being responsible for 22 winners at Group/Grade One level.
2016 – CARTIER RACING AWARDS
Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt: Churchill
Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly: Lady Aurelia
Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt: Almanzor
Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly: Minding
Cartier Sprinter: Quiet Reflection
Cartier Stayer: Order Of St George
Cartier Older Horse: Found
Cartier Horse of the Year: Minding owned by Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor
Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit: Aidan O’Brien