The annual Cartier Racing Awards recognise the top horses of the flat racing season. After the past three years, when Frankel picked up a total of six awards, this year’s winners, announced on Tuesday night, will inevitably stand in his shadow.
Yet all have stamped their authority on their particular field, none more so than Treve, unbeaten in all her five races, which culminated in that spectacular win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last month. With three Group 1 successes this season, there is no reason to crib at her accolade, and alongside the Horse of the Year title, she naturally picked up the award for the three-year-old filly. Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek still finds that win hard to believe. She said at the ceremony, “Each time I watch the Arc de Triomphe I get emotional. Sometimes dreams can come true.”
What’s more, there is the possibility of her picking up more recognition next season, as Head-Maarek has already said that she will aim Treve at the race again. She may even take in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on the way to Longchamp.
Older brother Freddy was in the spotlight for his work with Moonlight Cloud, winner of the older horse award.
Recent events played a huge part in finalising the winners of the two juvenile awards. Charlie Hills’ Chriselliam took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf event, and Roger Varian’s Kingston Hill, the Racing Post Trophy.
Breeders’ Cup victory must also have helped Magician take the trophy for the top three year old colt, whilst back to back wins in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the Darley July Cup in the height of summer were key to Lethal Force taking the Sprint award. The Queen’s filly was a popular poll topper in the Stayers’ category.
Jim Bolger was named as the person who has done most for European racing in their lifetime or over the past 12 months, and followed in the illustrious footsteps of Henry Cecil, Peter Walwyn, John Dunlop, Francois Boutin and the Head family as the latest trainer to take the award. As well as training horses, Bolger has done well as an owner and breeder, and, as Tony McCoy reminded us last week, he’s also extremely adept at bringing on young jockeys.