Enable made history Tuesday night at the Cartier Awards in London.
In securing a second Cartier Horse of the Year title Nov. 12 at a ceremony at the Dorchester (the 5-year-old Nathaniel mare earned her first recognition as Europe’s top horse in 2017), she joined Frankel (2011, 2012) and Ouija Board (2004, 2006) as just the third horse to twice be named Cartier Horse of the Year. The award was first presented in 1991.
Bred by owner Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, Enable added three more Group 1 successes this season with victories in the Coral-Eclipse, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, and Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
The only European-based filly or mare to gather career earnings of more than 10 million British pounds in prize money, Enable will remain in training for 2020. In U.S. dollars, she has earned $13,663,326.
In also being named Europe’s champion older horse for 2019, Enable equaled the record of Frankel, another Juddmonte homebred, in gaining five Cartier Racing Awards. She also was named Cartier 3-year-old filly in 2017 and Cartier Older Horse in 2018.
“Bountiful talent combined with a courageous running style make her a joy to watch and it is no wonder that Enable is so popular with everyone in racing,” said Cartier’s racing consultant Harry Herbert. “It is exciting that Prince Khalid Abdullah is keeping her in training for 2020, when she could become the first three-time Cartier Horse of the Year.”
Horses trained by John Gosden in Newmarket have earned the Cartier Horse of the Year Award in five of the past six years, courtesy of Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015), Roaring Lion (2018), and Enable (2017 and 2019). Juddmonte earned its fifth Horse of the Year honor.
The other nominees for Cartier Horse of the Year in 2019 were Blue Point, Magical, Star Catcher, Stradivarius, and Waldgeist, while the nominees for Cartier Older Horse this year included Blue Point, Crystal Ocean, Magical, Stradivarius, and Waldgeist.
The 2019 season was undoubtedly the year of Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori. In addition to Enable’s two Cartier Racing Awards, the pair also gained honors with horses in the Cartier 3-year-old colt, Cartier 3-year-old filly, and Cartier stayer categories.
Stradivarius won the Cartier stayer award for the second straight year. Owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen, the 5-year-old Sea The Stars horse was nearly all-conquering with repeat wins in the Group 2 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup, Group 1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, Group 1 Qatar Goodwood Cup, and Group 2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup handing him the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Million for the second time. He also went on to take the Group 2 Magners Rose Doncaster Cup, making him the eighth winner of the Stayers’ Triple Crown. It is intended that he too will remain in training for 2020. The other nominees for Cartier stayer were Dee Ex Bee, Kew Gardens, and Logician.
Another repeat winner is Too Darn Hot, who was named the 2019 Cartier 3-year-old colt. Owned by Lord Lloyd-Webber and bred by Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber’s Watership Down Stud, the son of Dubawi was crowned Cartier 2-year-old colt in 2018. After an interrupted start to this season, he again demonstrated tremendous ability with Group 1 victories in the Qatar Prix Jean Prat and Qatar Sussex Stakes. The other nominees for Cartier 3-year-old colt were Circus Maximus, Japan, and Logician.
The fifth award on the night for the Gosden-Dettori combination was the Cartier 3-year-old filly, which went to Star Catcher. Another homebred, Anthony Oppenheimer’s daughter of Sea The Stars got better and better as the season progressed, with victories in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, Group 1 Kerrygold Irish Oaks, Group 1 Qatar Prix Vermeille, and Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes. The other nominees in the division were Anapurna, Hermosa, and Iridessa.
“Trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori are one of the most enduring partnerships in horse racing and virtually everything they touched in 2019 turned to gold,” Herbert said. “Stradivarius is firmly among the immortals in the stayers’ division, while it was heart-warming to see Too Darn Hot return to his best in high summer. Star Catcher just seemed to get better and better as 2019 went on and emerged as the best of her generation.”
It also was a satisfying year for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, which took two Cartier racing awards.
Blue Point, trained by Charlie Appleby, went through 2019 unbeaten in five starts and won the 2019 Cartier sprinter award. The 5-year-old Shamardal horse began the campaign at Meydan, where his three successes were topped with a victory in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Azizi Developments on Dubai World Cup night in March. He was then given a near three-month break and headed to Royal Ascot. On day one, he was the comfortable 1 1/4-length winner of the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs. He turned out to contest the six-furlong, Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes on day five over a furlong farther, when he had to work harder but came out on top again. He became the first horse the complete the King’s Stand-Diamond Jubilee double in the same year since Choisir in 2003 and the first ever to win both races when they have both been run at the Group 1 level. The other Cartier sprinter nominees were Advertise, Battaash, and Kentucky-bred filly So Perfect.
Godolphin also gained the honor in the Cartier 2-year-old colt division with Pinatubo. Another son of Shamardal trained by Charlie Appleby, Pinatubo was unbeaten in six starts between May and October. After an impressive five-length success in the Group 2 Qatar Vintage Stakes at the end of July in his fourth start, he was breathtaking when running away with the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes by nine lengths at the Curragh in September. That made him the highest-rated juvenile on official British Horseracing Authority ratings since Celtic Swing a quarter of a century earlier. He ended 2019 with a second Group 1 success in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. The other nominees for Cartier 2-year-old colt were Earthlight, and Kentucky-breds Kameko and Siskin.
“It was also a great year for Godolphin,” Herbert said. “It takes a rare combination of talent and tenacity to win two races at Royal Ascot but Blue Point did exactly that as he topped and tailed the week by bagging both Group 1 sprints. Pinatubo was impressive throughout the year and his victory at the Curragh was a real ‘wow’ moment. Officially, the best juvenile in 25 years, his return in 2020 is going to be hugely anticipated.”
Owner-breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah gained a third Cartier racing award this year courtesy of the unbeaten Quadrilateral, who was named Cartier 2-year-old filly. The Roger Charlton-trained daughter of Frankel was unbeaten in three starts under talented young jockey Jason Watson and her season culminated with victory in the Group 1 Bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October. The other nominees for Cartier 2-year-old filly were Albigna, Daahyeh, and Raffle Prize.
“As well as his established superstar Enable, Prince Khalid Abdullah also has unbeaten 2-year-old filly Quadrilateral to look forward to in 2020,” Herbert said. “Seven of the eight equine winners at the 29th Cartier racing awards are the product of owner-breeders who form the backbone of our great sport and I extend my congratulations to Prince Khalid Abdullah, Sheikh Mohammed, Bjorn Nielsen, Anthony Oppenheimer, and Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber.”
The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit for 2019 went to Pat Smullen. One of the outstanding jockeys of his generation and a nine-time champion in his native Ireland, Pat received devastating news in 2018 when diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A man of outstanding resilience, he has thrown all his efforts into helping others who face the same condition.
“Pat Smullen, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit winner this year, is an inspirational figure,” Herbert said. “As well as his brilliance in the saddle, his dedication to help others who face the same health issues tells us what an outstanding human being he is.”
Smullen’s outstanding fund-raising efforts have resulted in more than 2.5 million euros ($2.75 million) being raised for Cancer Trials Ireland and culminated at the Curragh in September with the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland which saw stars from the past including Sir A P McCoy and Ruby Walsh return to the saddle.
European horse racing’s top 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/handicappers (35%) and votes from readers of Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph plus ITV Racing viewers (35%).