Ghaiyyath was announced as Cartier Horse of the Year at the 30th annual Cartier Racing Awards on Friday.
The 5-year-old Dubawi horse becomes the third Cartier Horse of the Year owned by the Maktoum family’s Godolphin operation following Daylami (1999) and Fantastic Light (2001).
The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. There are eight equine awards - the Cartier Horse Of The Year, the Cartier Older Horse, the Cartier Sprinter, the Cartier Stayer, the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt, the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly, the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.
European horseracing's top awards are delivered through a tried and tested combination of points earned by horses in Pattern races (30%), 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 (35%).
In addition to the equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 16-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.
A bold front runner, Ghaiyyath lit up the summer with dominant victories in three G1 contests – the Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup, the Coral-Eclipse and the Juddmonte International. The other nominees for Cartier Horse of the Year were Addeybb, Battaash and Love.
Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick throughout 2020, Ghaiyyath also takes the honors in the Cartier Older Horse category ahead of Addeybb, Enable and Magical.
Palace Pier, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and trained by John Gosden, takes the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt award following a superb campaign that saw him defeat the best of his own generation in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and then successfully take on the older generation in the G1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois at Deauville.
The other nominees for Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt were Kameko, Pinatubo and Siskin.
There have been few more spectacular Classic successes than that of Love in this year’s G1 Investec Oaks and she is named the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly in 2020. The daughter of Galileo, trained by Aidan O’Brien for a Coolmore syndicate, was undefeated in three starts, following up success in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas by winning the G1 Investec Oaks (by nine lengths) and the G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks (by five lengths). Also nominated for Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly were Alpine Star, Fancy Blue and Wonderful Tonight.
Not many horses in training boast a following as large as Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Battaash and he takes the Cartier Sprinter honours this year.
Now a six-year-old, Battaash was better than ever in 2020 and won all three of his starts over five furlongs – Royal Ascot’s G1 King’s Stand Stakes, the G2 King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood (for a fourth time) and the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York (for a second time).
The Charlie Hills-trained speedster takes the honours ahead of Dream Of Dreams, Glass Slippers and Glen Shiel.
For the third year in succession, Stradivarius is named Cartier Stayer. Owned by Bjorn Nielsen and trained by John Gosden, the six-year-old captured the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for a third time while at Goodwood the following month he won the G1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup for a remarkable fourth time. Also nominated for Cartier Stayer were Galileo Chrome, Princess Zoe and Wonderful Tonight.
Van Gogh is the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt in 2020, seeing off competition from Battleground, Mac Swiney and St Mark's Basilica. Owned by a Coolmore syndicate and trained by Aidan O’Brien, the American Pharoah colt signed off his campaign with a dominant victory in the G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.
In the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly category, Pretty Gorgeous takes the honours. Trained by Joseph O’Brien for US-based John Oxley, she finished the year with G1 success in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket. Also nominated for Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly were Alcohol Free, Campanelle and Tiger Tanaka.
Award of Merit
John Gosden OBE is the recipient of the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in 2020. The master trainer has saddled over 3,500 winners to date in his 41-year career and continues to go from strength to strength. Expertly handling the best horses for the world’s leading owners, he has been responsible for a record five Cartier Horse of the Year recipients – Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015), Enable (2017 & 2019) and Roaring Lion (2018).
Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, commented: “Back in the spring, nobody knew if we would even have a European Flat season in 2020 but with the hard work of everyone in the racing industry we were ultimately rewarded with a season to savour.
“Racing cannot continue without the ongoing support of owners and I would like to extend my congratulations to tonight’s winners - Godolphin, Coolmore, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Bjorn Nielsen and John Oxley.
“John Gosden has truly reached the summit of his profession and is the perfect recipient for the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in 2020. With his supreme eloquence and communication skills, racing is very lucky to have such a fabulous ambassador.
“I would like to end by extending special thanks to Cartier, Sky Sports Racing. The Daily Telegraph and Racing Post.
“Cartier’s support of these prestigious awards stretches right back to 1991 and is ongoing, even in today’s troubled times. We are truly blessed to be able to enjoy such tremendous support.”
Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK, commented: “In what has proved to be a year in which so many people have faced exceptional challenges, I am delighted for the Cartier Racing Awards to be broadcast on Sky Sports Racing allowing the racing public to join us in watching the presentation this year. It is an honour to celebrate the very best of horseracing, especially this year as we honour the 30th anniversary of the Cartier Racing Awards. My heartfelt congratulations go out to this exceptional year’s winners."