A Royal Celebration

2013 Cartier Racing Awards


Royal Victory. Gold Cup winner Estimate won a Cartier Award

Her Majesty The Queen’s filly Estimate provided one of the highpoints of the 2013 UK Flat season when winning the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and her owner was delighted to personally accept the Cartier Stayer Award.

Footage of The Queen receiving the Award at Buckingham Palace from Arnaud Bamberger, Cartier UK’s Executive Chairman, and Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, was shown to the 330 invited guests at the 2013 Cartier Racing Awards at London’s Dorchester Hotel, last week. The Queen looked thrilled to be receiving the Award and said: “Thank you very much indeed and it’s very nice to accept the award on behalf of Estimate, who did all the work.

“That’s very kind. Estimate is sitting in a field at Sandringham now having a rest and watching the deer and things like that. Perhaps she’ll come back into training next year. I shall be thrilled to keep that (the Cartier Award trophy) and have it as a memento. I was just looking at it and thinking it could join all the trophies we have at Ascot. We have all the trophies. I have actually managed to win the Gold Cup, which is unusual.”

Runaway Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve was named both CARTIER HORSE OF THE YEAR and winner of the CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY AWARD and Nasser Alhaabi, PR Manager to H.E. Sheikh Joaan Al-Thani, revealed the background to the owner’s Al Shaqab Racing.

“Al Shaqab was a battle between the Ottomans in 1893 which, under Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, led to Qatar’s independence. This is why we call it Al Shaqab, which is the leading equestrian centre in Qatar,” said Alhaabi. “They have one of the best breeding facilities in the world, especially in show breeding and today we have Al Shaqab Racing. It is an emerging force in racing thoroughbreds and we wish to be here for many years to come. This is amazing for all of us, especially us the Qataris. Last year we had the amazing Frankel, we had superstar sprinter Black Caviar and this year we have Treve, I think she’s an unbelievable horse. She has this amazing acceleration.

“I was at Royal Ascot and a journalist asked me why Al Shaqab Racing favoured racing in France. I answered him by asking him which one Group One race he would want to win. But we would like to show our appreciation to the British. Next year and in the upcoming seasons we will be sponsoring some races in Britain.”

The CARTIER AWARD OF MERIT was presented to Jim Bolger, one of the outstanding trainers and breeders of recent years. Bolger wanted to congratulate one of his many successful proteges, A P McCoy, who was at the Awards Dinner having recently ridden his 4,000th winner as a jump jockey. “I must congratulate Anthony. I always call him Anthony because many years ago when he first came to the yard I heard somebody call him Tony after a few days and he said ‘my name if Anthony’. So he remained that as long as he was with us,” said Bolger. “Nobody is happier than I am to be proven wrong. I now realise that you probably were tough enough to be a jump jockey!”

Reflecting on his own career, Bolger added: “We trainers don’t need to be smart, we just need a little staying power. Hopefully, I have a little staying power and hopefully it will stay with me. Thanks to everybody who made it possible to be here. Especially my long-serving wife Jackie. She happens to be the champion owner in Ireland and I’d like to be the first to congratulate her. And Kevin Manning my jockey and all of my staff past and present, including the ones who are here tonight. Thank you all for coming here and sorry for eating into your sleeping time.”

American-based owner George Strawbridge travelled to London specially to collect the CARTIER OLDER HORSE AWARD, won by his outstanding filly Moonlight Cloud. He said: “Everybody in this room knows that it’s the most competitive racing in the world here. Moonlight Cloud has always been the underdog. I will never forget I got the picture after she won her first race at Deauville and thought what a small animal with such fragile legs and how could she possibly campaign on this continent. And then Alec Head said to me after we watched her in the Moulin ‘look at her George, nobody would ever buy her at a yearling sales!”. But also nobody would buy Treve at the yearling sale. So they must have missed all those boxes that the bloodstock agents are always ticking off!

“Moonlight Cloud is a very kind, gentle affectionate horse. She could be hugged, patted and squeezed before she even competed. Yet when she did compete, she had the heart of a lion, laser concentration and the unbelievable brilliance of speed. She is such a credit to Freddy Head. She was in love with him and Thierry Jarnet. She didn’t love me because she didn’t know me! But we were all in love with her so thank you all very much.”

Paul Smith, owner of Group One Racing Post Trophy winner Kingston Hill, was on hand to pick up the CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT AWARD and he outlined the rollercoaster few weeks he has just enjoyed.

“Two months ago this horse didn’t even have a name,” said Smith. “But he has since broken his maiden, won a Group Three and the Racing Post Trophy and now he has won this Award, so it’s incredible.” Breeders’ Cup heroine Chriselliam took the CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY AWARD and her joint-owners Chris Wright, Emily Asprey and Willie Carson collected her trophy.

Wright recalled: “It was during the Dante meeting at York in May that Charlie (Hills) called me up and said ‘we’ve got a superstar here Chris’. It took a while for it to come together but under his careful attention we finally got there… I just wish the Guineas were taking place in the next two weeks on good to firm ground anywhere in the world.”

Another horse to star at Santa Anita earlier this month, Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Magician, took the CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT AWARD. J P Magnier, whose parents John and Sue part-own the son of Galileo, picked up their trophy.

“Obviously, it has been well publicised that this horse had a few issues with swimming through the year so a big well done has to go to Aidan (O’Brien) and the team at Ballydoyle for the good job to enable the horse to go from a three and a half month lay-off to the Breeders’ Cup,” said Magnier. Bargain-buy Lethal Force, owned by father and son Alan and Robin Craddock, won the CARTIER SPRINTER AWARD.

“After Clive Cox had the horse in the stable for a few weeks he phoned us to say that we were going to have an awful lot of fun with this horse. Clive turned out to be absolutely right,” said Alan Craddock. “Lethal won a Group Two, he came second in two Group Twos and then went on to win two Group Ones and be second in a Group One. So Robin and I give our sincere thanks to Clive and again we thank Cartier for this magnificent occasion.”

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