By Blood-Horse Staff
Frankel became the first horse to win successive Cartier Horse of the Year Awards when he secured the biggest prize at a Nov. 13 ceremony in London honoring Europe's top horses.
Ceremony participants and an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel celebrated the racing career of the recently retired, undefeated 4-year-old son of Galileo, who joins Ouija Board (2004 and 2006) as the only two-time winner of the Cartier Horse of the Year. Owned and bred by Prince Khalid Abdullah and trained by Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel also was named the Cartier Older Horse division winner as he finishes his racing career with champion honors in each of the three seasons he raced and five total Cartier Awards.
"All of us at Warren Place are thrilled that Frankel's achievements this year have been recognized with him winning this most prestigious award for the second time running," said Cecil, who is being treated for stomach cancer and was not well enough to attend Tuesday's ceremony. "Frankel with his brilliance has been a great ambassador for British racing and has captured the hearts of so many people, some of whom have never been racing in their lives.
"Thank you Frankel and to everyone that has voted for him."
In addition, Team Frankel was honored with the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit which goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 16-strong Cartier Jury, has done the most for European racing or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months. Team Frankel includes all the people who contributed to the horse's development at Juddmonte Farms in Britain and Ireland plus those assembled by Cecil to train him.
Frankel finished his racing career after 14 unbeaten starts and on Nov. 8 moved from Cecil's Warren Place stables, the horse's home since Jan. 14, 2010, back to nearby Banstead Manor Stud, where he was born, in preparation for taking up stud duties early next year.
His brilliant 2012 victories include the devastating 11-length win in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot in June and his imperious success when tried over 10 furlongs for the first time in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) at York in August. His final start came in Britain's most valuable race, the QIPCO Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot on Oct. 20, when he was the comfortable scorer from Cirrus Des Aigles.
In the Cartier Horse of the Year category, Frankel triumphed over three-time classic winner Camelot, Cirrus Des Aigles, Excelebration, and Nathaniel.
"Frankel lit up all our lives with his magnificent performances in 2012 and during the previous two years. He is the most successful horse in the 22-year history of the Cartier Racing Awards and that is no surprise given his domination of so many races," said Cartier's racing consultant Harry Herbert. "Sir Henry Cecil thinks there has never been a better racehorse and tonight we celebrate Frankel's achievements and those of the team behind him."
Established in 1991, the Cartier Awards are determined by points earned by horses in pattern races throughout 2012, combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists and votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph.
Tremendous Australian-based racemare Black Caviar, unbeaten in 22 outings, won the Cartier Sprinter award, albeit narrowly from the Richard Fahey-trained Mayson, a talented and tough speedster who won the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket decisively. Black Caviar, trained by Peter Moody, raced in Britain this year, winning the six-furlong Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, which she won by a head.
Camelot always held sway for the Cartier 3-Year-Old Colt Award, with the Coolmore-owned and Aidan O'Brien-trained colt winning three straight group I classics: the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas, the Investec Derby, and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby; before finishing second in the Ladbrokes St Leger (Eng-I) when attempting the British Triple Crown.
The Fugue has never finished out of the first four and a lack of luck contributed to the talented filly only winning one group I race this year, the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. She did enough to gain the Cartier 3-Year-Old Filly Award for owner/breeders Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber.
Dawn Approach went through his first season unbeaten in six outings and the Jim Bolger-trained colt is the winner in the Cartier 2-Year-Old Colt Award. Another Godolphin-owned 2-year-old, Certify, also enjoyed an unblemished juvenile career and the four-time winner is the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.
Colour Vision, also owned by Godolphin, took the honor in the Cartier Stayer category after his Gold Cup (Eng-I) victory at Royal Ascot.