Roaring Lion Named Horse of the Year

Roaring Lion Named Horse of the Year12 Nov 2018

For the fourth time in five years, a horse trained by John Gosden has taken the top honour as Europe’s Horse of the Year at the Cartier Awards in London.
On Tuesday night, it was the 3-year-old colt Roaring Lion (Kitten’s Joy) who earned the award over three of his stablemates-Cracksman (GB) (Frankel {GB}), Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) and Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire})-as well as Alpha Centauri (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire})-on the merit of wins in the G1 Coral-Eclipse, G1 Juddmonte International, G1 Irish Champion S. and G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. Purchased by David Redvers for $160,000 from Keeneland September in 2016, Roaring Lion raced in the colours of Qatar Racing and, in addition to the aforementioned accomplishments, won the G2 Royal Lodge S. at two and was second in the G1 Racing Post Trophy and third in the G1 Investec Derby. Roaring Lion, who also won the Cartier 3-Year-Old Colt award, retires to Tweenhills Stud for 2019.
Roaring Lion follows Kingman (GB) (2014), Golden Horn (GB) (2015) and Enable (2017) in bringing the Horse of the Year statue back to Clarehaven Stables.
Enable, Stradivarius, and Alpha Centauri each received compensation for missing out on Horse of the Year. Enable made just three starts this year but those remarkably included a title-defending win in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a victory in the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf; she became the first horse to record that double in the same year and only the second ever to win both. The Juddmonte Farms homebred took Cartier Older Horse honours.
Stradivarius was one of the leading lights of the turf throughout the season, and he was awarded on Tuesday with the Cartier Stayer Award. Stradivarius was unbeaten in five races in 2018-the G2 Yorkshire Cup, G1 Gold Cup, G1 Goodwood Cup, G2 Lonsdale Cup and G2 British Champions Long Distance Cup-and handed connections’ a £1-million bonus for completing the inaugural WH Stayers’ Million series.
Also highly consistent throughout the season was the Niarchos Family’s homebred Alpha Centauri. The imposing grey filly built on the promise she had shown early in the season at two, taking the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas followed by the G1 Coronation S., G1 Falmouth S. and the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois. She was retired after picking up an injury when second to Laurens (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) in the G1 Matron S.
Remarkably, we’re not done with Gosden yet. The trainer picked up a record-equaling fifth Cartier statue on the evening when his Too Darn Hot (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) was predictably named champion 2-year-old colt. The Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber homebred was unbeaten in four starts this year, culminating in a win in the G1 Dewhurst S. Too Darn Hot also won the G3 Solario S. and G2 Champagne S., and he beat out Advertise (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), Quorto (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Ten Sovereigns (Ire) (No Nay Never) for divisional honours.
The only other trainer to win five Cartier awards in one evening was Aidan O’Brien in 2016.
The Cartier 2-Year-Old Filly award went to Ireland to Anthony and Sonia Rogers’s Skitter Scatter (Scat Daddy). Skitter Scatter had a busy seven-race campaign and rewarded connections with three wins in pattern company: the G3 Silver Flash S., G2 Debutante S. and G1 Moyglare Stud S. She took the honors over Pretty Pollyanna (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), Fairyland (Scat Daddy) and Hermosa (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).
Mabs Cross (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) was the winner of the Cartier Sprinter award on the merit of her victory in the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye. Owned by David Armstrong and trained by Michael Dods, she had won the G3 Palace House S. in May and was placed three times in pattern company this year: in the G1 King’s Stand S., G2 Sapphire S. and G1 Nunthorpe S.
The Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit was given to David Oldrey, who is regarded as one of the greatest talents to have worked in the administration of British horse racing. Oldrey has served The Jockey Club and the British Horseracing Board among other industry bodies. He is also a successful owner and breeder and racing historian.
Harry Herbert, Cartier’s racing consultant, said, “What another outstanding year it has been for European horse racing. Congratulations to John Gosden and his team for securing a joint-record five equine Cartier Racing Awards at the 28th annual Cartier Racing Awards. Roaring Lion truly lived up to his name, with four courageous Group 1 successes over the course of the season.
“Enable more than made up for missing the summer with her second Arc success followed by the Breeders’ Cup Turf. What an outstanding filly she is. There was nothing to touch Stradivarius in the stayers’ division, while Too Darn Hot looks hugely exciting for the 2019 campaign.
“Alpha Centauri towered over her rivals with several scintillating displays and congratulations to her owner-breeder the Niarchos Family and trainer Jessica Harrington, who has proved herself to be the outstanding dual-purpose handler of our age.
“Mabs Cross was superbly campaigned and earned her just reward at Longchamp, while Anthony and Sonia Rogers, such tremendous owner-breeders, have an outstanding filly in Skitter Scatter.
“Of course, horseracing does not function without great people behind the scenes. David Oldrey, who has dedicated himself to the administration of our great sport, is one such person. He is the deserved winner of the Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit.
“Congratulations to all our winners this year and thanks go to Cartier UK, headed by Laurent Feniou, for supporting the Cartier Racing Awards for the 28th consecutive year.”
-TDN Europe