All Eyes on Frankel Heading into Final Furlong
The winners of the 2012 Cartier Racing Awards will be unveiled in little over a month’s time and QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20, which is likely to be the venue for the final racecourse appearance of the world’s best horse Frankel, is sure to play a pivotal role in the battle for honours.
The Cartier Awards are now in their 22nd year, having been established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. They 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.
In addition to eight equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.
European horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars will be presented during a glittering ceremony before an invited audience at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday, November 13.
Frankel (144 points), owned by Prince Khalid Adbulla, still trails Camelot (168) in the points’ standings for Cartier Horse Of The Year but victory at Ascot in the Group One QIPCO Champion Stakes would ensure the unbeaten Sir Henry Cecil-trained colt gains a repeat victory in this very prestigious category.
Camelot, trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien and owned by a Coolmore partnership, has won the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas, Investec Derby and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby this season but, after a close second in the Ladbrokes St Leger, could fare no better than seventh behind shock Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe scorer Solemia in Paris on October 7.
French-trained Cirrus Des Aigles, set to meet Frankel in the £1.3-million QIPCO British Champion Stakes which he won in 2011, has landed Group One contests in Dubai and France this season and warmed up for defence of his Ascot crown with a facile nine-length victory in the Group Two Qatar Prix Dollar at Longchamp on October 6.
Frankel, Moonlight Cloud, Cirrus Des Aigles and Shareta also lead the way in the standings in the Cartier Older Horse category, while Camelot has a commanding advantage in the standings for Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt ahead of Saonois (74) and Bayrir (56), both beaten in the Arc, plus Encke (56), Camelot’s Doncaster conqueror.
In the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly category, Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes heroine The Fugue is out in front on 82 points followed by Investec Oaks winner Was (68), Elusive Kate (64) and Beauty Parlour (56).
Godolphin’s Group One Shadwell Fillies’ Mile scorer Certify (72) is out in front in the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly followed by Rosdhu Queen (64), who landed the Group One Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on September 29, Sky Lantern (56), Harasiya (24) and Sendmylovetorose (24).
Godolphin also holds a strong hand in the Cartier Stayer category, with Group One Gold Cup winner Colour Vision on 68, well clear of his stablemate Opinion Poll (36). Dual Group Two winner Times Up is on 35, followed by Saddlers Rock (32).
Harry Herbert, Cartier’s racing consultant, commented: “We have witnessed tremendous racing over recent weeks and attention now turns to QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20, when everyone is eagerly anticipating a final spectacular performance from Frankel.
“With Dubai Future Champions Day at Newmarket on Saturday, and America’s Breeders’ Cup on the horizon, the final scenes will be played out before the 2012 Cartier Racing Awards are decided.”
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