Ace Impact was crowned Cartier Horse of the Year at the 33rd Cartier Racing Awards during a glittering ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Thursday evening.
Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Gousserie Racing and Serge Stempniak, the son of the 2017 Cartier Three-Year Old Colt Cracksman becomes the first French-trained winner of the prestigious award since Treve in 2013.
Unbeaten in six career starts, Ace Impact unleashed a scintillating turn of foot to take the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club and again showed exceptional acceleration when beating a stellar field in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Ace Impact took the premier equine award ahead of Paddington, a four-time Gr1 winner in 2023, dual Derby and Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes victor Auguste Rodin and Mostahdaf, who captured the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and Juddmonte International.
Ace Impact also received the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award, a category that features Paddington, Auguste Rodin and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO) winner Big Rock.
Shadwell homebred Mostahdaf, from the stables of John & Thady Gosden, was named Cartier Older Horse following his victories at Royal Ascot and York. He prevailed over Hukum and Westover, who produced one of the races of the year in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, and Inspiral, who narrowly misses out on a third consecutive Cartier Racing Award.
Tahiyra, a fifth generation homebred for the Aga Khan, took the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award following a superb campaign for Dermot Weld that yielded wins in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Coolmore America “Justify” Matron Stakes. Classic heroines Mawj and Blue Rose Cen were also nominated for the award alongside Warm Heart, who enjoyed top-level success at York and Longchamp.
Shaquille received the Cartier Sprinter accolade after breathtaking displays in the Commonwealth Cup and Pertemps Network July Cup. Co-bred by his owner Martin Hughes, the Julie Camacho-trained colt comes out on top from last year’s Cartier Sprinter Highfield Princess, Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes winner Live In The Dream and Art Power, successful in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint.
Having been crowned Cartier Stayer in 2021, Trueshan claimed the award for a second time this year. The hugely popular seven-year-old, trained by Alan King for the Singula Partnership, returned to his best with victories in the Betfred Doncaster Cup and Prix du Cadran. Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami, Betfred St Leger victor Continuous and Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup winner Quickthorn were also nominated for the award.
City Of Troy, owned by Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, took the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award following an unbeaten season for Aidan O’Brien that culminated with success in the Native Trail’s Dewhurst Stakes. He prevailed over Sumbe Prix Morny and Juddmonte Middle Park winner Vandeek, Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes scorer Henry Longfellow, and Rosallion, who took the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Aidan O’Brien and a Coolmore partnership were also responsible for Opera Singer, who received the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award on the back of a progressive campaign that included an emphatic success in the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac. Owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier and Westerberg, she took the award from Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes winner Porta Fortuna, Moyglare Stud Stakes scorer Fallen Angel and Ylang Ylang, who was successful in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile.
The recipient of the Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in 2023 was Jeff Smith.
One of the most popular owner/breeders in the sport, his famous purple and light blue silks have been worn by some of the great horses of modern times, including Chief Singer, Lochsong and Persian Punch.