Almanzor in Cartier frame
An outstanding weekend of racing has brought more horses into the reckoning for the 2016 Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing's equivalent of the Oscars.
Almanzor and Found enhanced their Cartier Awards claims
Almanzor (106) entered calculations for two awards – the Cartier Horse Of The Year and the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt – after storming to victory over a stellar line-up in theQIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt, owned by Antonio Caro and Gerard Augustin-Normand, has been successful on his four most recent starts, including an impressive display in the Prix du Jockey Club, the French Derby, at Chantilly in May.
The son of Wootton Bassett could now return to Chantilly for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on October 2 or tackle the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot 13 days later, with connections currently favouring a trip to the Berkshire course.
Top miler Galileo Gold (136), who currently heads the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Pattern race points, is also due to run on Champions Day at Ascot alongside Ribchester (80) in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO, on what could prove a pivotal day.
Found (104) was runner-up in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes for a second successive year, having chased home 2015 Cartier Horse Of The Year Golden Horn 12 months earlier. The four-year-old-filly has moved up to second in the Cartier Older Horse Standings behind Postponed (116), with the pair set to feature in another star-studded line-up for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe next month.
Vadamos (80), successful in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp at Chantilly, and Silverwave (80), who won the Qatar Prix Foy on the same card, are also challengers for the Cartier Older Horse category.
Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore were also responsible for the third home in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, Minding (188), who increased her commanding lead on Pattern race points in the race for Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly honours.
Quiet Reflection (96) has emerged as her nearest challenger in the latter category following a superb victory in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on September 3. The daughter of Showcasing, trained and part-owned by Karl Burke, holds a healthy advantage in the Cartier Sprinter standings, having also captured the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and finished third in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, all over six furlongs, earlier this season.
Irish Champions Weekend also produced top-quality action at the Curragh on Sunday as Churchill (56), representing Coolmore and trained by Aidan O'Brien, propelled himself to the head of the betting for next year's Classics with an authoritative victory from Mehmas (56) in the Goff's Vincent O'Brien National Stakes.
They head the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award points ahead of Churchill's stable companion Caravaggio (48), an impressive winner of both the Coventry Stakes and Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.
The O'Brien family enjoyed further success on the same card as Intricately (38) scored by a short-head in the Moyglare Stud Stakes to provide Aidan's sons Joseph (trainer) and Donnacha (jockey) with a first Group One victory. The Fastnet Rock filly, who races in the colours Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez, is second in the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly division behind Lady Aurelia (48).
Elsewhere on the day, Wicklow Brave (40), trained by Ireland's champion jump trainer Willie Mullins and owned by Wicklow Bloodstock, sprung a shock when making all under Frankie Dettori to beat current Cartier Stayer leader Order Of St George (72) in the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger.
The English equivalent, the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster, also produced a surprise result 24 hours earlier as Harbour Law (32) got up on the line to provide trainer Laura Mongan and owners Nick & Jackie Cornwell with a fairytale success in the world's oldest Classic. Sheikhzayedroad (36) also enhanced his Carter Stayer credentials at Doncaster with a last-gasp victory in the 250th Doncaster Cup.
Harry Herbert, Cartier's Racing Consultant, commented: "We have been treated to some tremendous racing over the past week, with the Irish Champion Stakes providing a wonderful centrepiece for Irish Champions Weekend.
"Doncaster's St Leger meeting also saw a host of thrilling finishes, not least in the Classic itself, while there were important clues on offer on Arc Trials day at Chantilly.
"With the big autumn meetings on the horizon, notably the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly and QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot, we look set for a glorious crescendo to the European Flat season and this year's Cartier Racing Awards."
Cartier Racing Awards – points in Pattern races up to and including Sunday, September 11, 2016
Cartier Horse Of The Year
Galileo Gold 136
The Gurkha 128
Cartier Older Horse
Highland Reel 80
Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt
Galileo Gold 136
The Gurkha 128
Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly
Quiet Reflection 96
Alice Springs 86
La Cressonniere 80
Quiet Reflection 96
Mecca's Angel 56
Signs Of Blessing 40
Order Of St George 72
Wicklow Brave 40
Harbour Law 32
Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt
The Last Lion 30
Medicine Jack 24
War Decree 24
Peace Envoy 24
Blue Point 24
Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly
Lady Aurelia 48
Roly Poly 32
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