Sea The Stars - Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
(Photo : ABC)
CARTIER RACING AWARDS 2009
The debate as to who will be named the top performer at the Eclipse Awards will continue into the new year, but there’s no controversy on the other side of the Atlantic. Christopher Tsui’sSea the Stars was yesterday handed the accolade he had long since made a formality when named the Horse of the Year at the 2009 Cartier Awards.
At the latest ceremony, staged at Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, London, the historical feats achieved by the John Oxx-trained homebred were celebrated as he scooped the title of champion three-year-old colt alongside the main honor.
As he had on the racecourse, the bay son of the legendary Urban Sea left his title rivals in his wake in the points-and-vote system, sweeping the G1 2000 Guineas, G1 Epsom Derby, G1 Eclipse, G1 Juddmonte International, G1 Irish Champion and G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Among those shortlisted for the top prize were Ballymacoll’s G1 King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Conduit and Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor’s G1 Irish 2000 Guineas and G1 St James’s Palace Stakes hero Mastercraftsman, the latter received the two-year-old colt award in 2008.
The Wertheimer brothers’ dual G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile heroine Goldikova was also in line for the Horse of the Year award and, although unlucky to come up against Sea the Stars in that category, was justly handed the champion older horse award. The Freddy Head-trained four-year-old also won the G1 Falmouth Stakes, G1 Prix Rothschild and G1 Prix Jacques le Marois prior to her dazzling display at Santa Anita.
Lady Bamford’s homebred Sariska gained the reward for completing the G1 English-Irish Oaks double by being named champion three-year-old filly ahead of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s G1 1000 Guineas and G1 Coronation Stakes heroine Ghanaati - also in the shortlist for the Horse of the Year title - and Prince Khalid Abdullah’s G1 Nassau Stakes and G1 Breeders’ Cup F/M Turf victress Midday.
St Nicholas Abbey, who burst to prominence late on with a highly impressive success in the G1 Racing Post Trophy, headed the two-year-old colt division, providing Aidan O’Brien with a seventh such title since 1999. Prior to his Doncaster triumph, the bay captured the G2 Beresford Stakes, a race collected by Sea the Stars the previous year.
Prince Khalid Abdullah’s G1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Special Duty was crowned champion two-year-old filly. Solskjaer’s brother Yeats, who retired this year after a sensational fourth G1 Gold Cup success, was named champion stayer and, in so doing, became the first to win a Cartier Award four times. The Searchers Syndicate’s G1 July Cup heroine Fleeting Spirit picked up the champion sprinter award. John Oxx, trainer of Sea the Stars, received the 2009 Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit. He joins previous honorees Queen Elizabeth II, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prince Khalid Abdullah, John Magnier, His Highness The Aga Khan and Lester Piggott.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News