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Cartier Awards Heating Up!

Premier meetings lay the foundations

Excellent middle-distance performer Poet’s Word and top stayer Stradivarius have firmly entered calculations for 2018 Cartier Horse Of The Year honours at this year’s Cartier Racing Awards following impressive victories at two of Europe’s premier Flat racing meetings.

The 28th Cartier Racing Awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England, on the evening of Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

Five-year-old Poet’s Word (116) currently heads the standings for both the Cartier Horse Of the Year and Cartier Older Horse categories following a pulsating victory over stable companion Crystal Ocean (56), the pair clear, in the 12-furlong Gr1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO), the mid-summer European highlight at Ascot on July 28.

Sir Michael Stoute – another big season

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained pair dominated the thrilling finish to the 12-furlong showpiece, with Poet’s Word wearing down Crystal Ocean inside the final furlong to prevail by a neck.

Poet’s Word, owned by Saeed Suhail, is now unbeaten in three European appearances this season, having also captured the Gr1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, in which he beat Cracksman (88), last year’s Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt, and the Gr3 Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown Park in May.

Poet’s Word leads (Pic – Racing Victoria)

 The Qatar Goodwood Festival produced five days of terrific racing on the South Downs between July 31 and August 4, headed by three Gr1 races.

Stradivarius (96), trained by John Gosden and owned by Bjorn Nielsen, won the Gr1 Qatar Goodwood Cup for a second successive year to extend his commanding lead in the Cartier Stayer category.

John Gosden

John Gosden –

The four-year-old colt stayed on gamely to beat Torcedor (36) by half a length and will collect the inaugural WH Stayers’ Million bonus if successful the Gr2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York on August 24.

Cartier Older Horse contender Lightning Spear (76), representing Qatar Racing, gained a deserved first Gr1 success on his 16th top-level appearance in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, with the David Simcock-trained seven-year-old quickening strongly between horses for a decisive victory over Expert Eye (36).

The meeting’s third Gr1 contest saw Godolphin filly Wild Illusion (64) continue a fine year for trainer Charlie Appleby as she made all of the running for an impressive win in the Qatar Nassau Stakes, entering the reckoning for Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly honours in the process.

Battaash wins King George Qatar Stakes

Gr1 King’s Stand Stakes runner-up Battaash (48), trained by Charlie Hills for Hamdan Al Maktoum, returned to his best with a blistering display of power and speed in the meeting’s big sprint, the Gr2 King George Qatar Stakes over five furlongs.

The top-rated horse over five furlongs in the world last year, Battaash is joint-top of the Cartier Sprinter standings with the now-retired Merchant Navy and looks set for a mouth-watering showdown with his Royal Ascot conqueror, Godolphin’s Blue Point (38), in the Gr1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (August 24) over five furlongs at York’s Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

York’s premier meeting is set to feature more Cartier Racing Awards hopefuls, with Poet’s Word set for a fascinating clash leading three-year-old colts Saxon Warrior (80) and Roaring Lion (78) in the 10-furlong Gr1 Juddmonte International (August 22), while three-year-old fillies Laurens (88), Forever Together (80) and Sea Of Class (32) could meet in the Gr1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks (August 23) over 12 furlongs.

More immediately, the hugely impressive Alpha Centauri (96), who leads in the race to be crowned Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly and is joint-second in the Cartier Horse Of The Year standings, takes on the colts for the first time in the Gr1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois at Deauville, France, on August 12, making it a race to really look forward to.

Cartier Racing Awards – points earned in Pattern races up to and including Sunday, August 5, 2018:

Cartier Horse Of The Year

Poet’s Word 116

Alpha Centauri 96

Stradivarius 96

Cracksman 88

Laurens 88

Forever Together 80

Saxon Warrior 80

Roaring Lion 78

Lightning Spear 76

Masar 68

Cartier Older Horse

Poet’s Word 116

Cracksman 88

Lightning Spear 76

Benbatl 66

Crystal Ocean 56

Waldgeist 56

Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt

Saxon Warrior 80

Roaring Lion 78

Masar 68

Study Of Man 52

Kew Gardens 48

U S Navy Flag 48

Without Parole 48

Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly

Alpha Centauri 96

Laurens 88

Forever Together 80

Wild Illusion 64

Billesdon Brook 48

With You 48

Cartier Sprinter

Battaash 48

Merchant Navy 48

Sands Of Mali 40

Blue Point 38

Eqtidaar 36

Cartier Stayer

Stradivarius 96

Vazirabad 55

Torcedor 36

Marmelo 24

Flag Of Honour 16

Idaho 16

Kew Gardens 16

Pilaster 16

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