Minding named Horse of the Year
Minding has been named the Cartier Horse of the Year at the 26th annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing's equivalent of the Oscars.
Horse of the Year Minding on the way to winning the Investec Oaks
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, in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas, Investec Oaks, Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes, Qatar Nassau Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO).
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 One victories. Her rivals in the Cartier Horse Of The Year category were Almanzor, Found, Postponed and recent Breeders' Cup Turf winner Highland Reel.
Minding also takes the honours in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly category, ahead of Alice Springs, Quiet Reflection and La Cressonniere.
This year a new record was set at the Cartier Racing Awards, with five of the eight equine awards going to horses owned by Coolmore partnerships, consisting in the main of owners Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor. All five of these award winners are trained by Aidan O'Brien who gains the accolade of Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit.
Even by his own exemplary standards, the Ballydoyle trainer has enjoyed a magnificent 2016, being responsible for 22 winners at Group/Grade One level. During the past quarter century, the 47-year-old has rewritten the record books, enjoying more than 250 Group/Grade One winners on the Flat worldwide.
Found, who led home a remarkable 1-2-3 for O'Brien and the owners in Europe's richest race, last month's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was 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 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, was 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, was 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 tok 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, to win three Group One contests – the French Classic, the Prix du Jockey Club, the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and the QIPCO Champion Stakes. The other Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt nominees were Galileo Gold, Harzand and The Gurkha.
Two fillies made history at the 26th Cartier Racing Awards. Firstly, Quiet Reflection became the first three-year-old filly to win the Cartier Sprinter Award. This followed 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 was 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 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and victory in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, she captured 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.
Harry Herbert, Cartier's Racing Consultant, commented: "I would like to extend my congratulations to the Coolmore team on the phenomenal achievement of gaining a record five awards at the 26th annual Cartier Racing Awards.
"Minding and Found are brilliant fillies, while Order Of St George is a stayer out of the top drawer and Churchill's performances bode well for 2017.
"Aidan O'Brien's achievements, with Minding, Found, Order of St George and Churchill plus many others in 2016 and during the last 25 years, speak for themselves and this outstanding trainer richly deserves the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit.
"It is thrilling to see the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award go to the American-trained Lady Aurelia, emphasising how international racing has become.
"The three-year-old filly Quiet Reflection is a worthy winner of the Cartier Sprint Award, while Almanzor's dominance at 10 furlongs is testament to superb handling."
The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in European horseracing. The awards are arrived at through three established strands. Points are earned by horses in Pattern races (30% of the total) and these are combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists (35%) and votes from readers of Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph plus Channel 4 Racing viewers (35%).
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