From The Horse’s Mouth: Neigh 11

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Updated: November 15, 2014

The 24th edition of the Cartier Racing Awards occurred this week and the main winners have all been mentioned in this blog, at some point since it began in March this year. It gives me the perfect opportunity to look back nostalgically at some great names and races. Winners were decided by a combination of statistical analysis (40%), racing journalists’ votes (30%) and public votes (30%).

Cartier THREE YEAR OLD COLT Award & Cartier HORSE of the Year: KINGMAN

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Kingman suffered his only career defeat when being pipped at the post (half length) by 40-1 Night of Thunder in the 2000 Guineas. Thereafter he won four G1 races with James Doyle on board wearing the Prince Khalid Abdullah silks. These were the Irish 2000 Guineas, St James Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and the Jacques De Marois. Kingman never ran again after August and will now be a stud as part of the Juddmonte stallion roster.

Cartier OLDER HORSE of the Year: NOBLE MISSION (contender for Horse of the Year award as well alongside Kingman, Australia and Treve).

Noble Mission a grand old horse. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Noble Mission a grand old horse. Image credit @Channel4Racing

As full brother to the legendary Frankel a lot is expected from this horse. My first report on Noble Mission covered his nine length win at 4-1 odds in the Sandown Gordon Richards Stakes a Group 3 Class 1 race. He then won the Tattersalls Gold Cup and came second in big races in Germany (Dallmayer Preis- Bayerischen- Zuchtrennen) and France (Prix Saint Cloud). Later Noble Mission was awarded the French victory through the disqualification of Spirit Jim.

Cartier STAYER of the Year: LEADING LIGHT

Image Credit @Channel4Racing

Image Credit @Channel4Racing

Winner of the 2013 St Leger and 2014 Ascot Gold Cup, Leading Light sustained serious injury during the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot. Finishing twelve lengths behind the winner Forgotten Rules, the extent of the damage turned out to be suspensory injuries to both front legs and it is unlikely Leading Light will race again. He won eight of his twelve races.

Cartier THREE YEAR OLD FILLY Award: TAGHROODA

Image Credit @Channel4Racing

Image Credit @Channel4Racing

She won The Oaks and then secured her place in racing history as the first filly to win the King George VI Queen Elizabeth Stakes in a very long time. She was placed in her final race in October, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, having last run in the UK in August.

Great supporter of the sport. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Great supporter of the sport. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Cartier SPRINTER of the Year: SOLE POWER had great wins in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and in the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot. His last race before going to stud was the Darley Classic at Flemington Melbourne on November 8th but alas he could only come in 11th in a field of 13.

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Other Cartier Horse Award Winners

Two Year Old Filly: TIGGY WIGGY

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Two Year Old Colt: GLENEAGLES

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Image credit @Channel4Racing

Over The Pond

My old friend California Chrome has had a busy time since I last I spoke. He took to the track on September 20th in the Pennsylvania Derby. Although he ran well, it was Bayern who took the winning plaudits after a stupendous run from the start, leaving the rest of the field in his wake. These two met again on November 1st at Santa Anita with a string of other runners California Chrome had faced throughout the year. Bayern again came out top with Toast of New York in second and California Chrome third in a hotly contested very close finish. I’m pleased to report that having checked my friends Facebook page California Chrome will continue in training as a four year old.

A very close three way finish at Santa Anita. Image credit @Channel4Racing

A very close three way finish at Santa Anita. Image credit @Channel4Racing

European Success Down Under

Aidan O’Brien became the first European trainer to win Australia’s Cox Plate with Adelaide ridden by Ryan Moore. Silent Achiever came in second and Side Glance third.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2014

Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek worked wonders dealing with Treve’s back and hooves problems over the year. The 2013 Cartier Horse of the Year had not been the same horse since winning the French showcase in October 2013, due to persistent injury concerns. But Criquette persuaded the owners to keep Treve in training for another attempt at the Arc. The horse with Thierry Jarnet on board ran a storming race to secure a consecutive Arc win, a feat not achieved since Alleged in 1978. Flintshire came in second and Taghrooda third. Immediately after the race it appeared Treve was retired, but a few days’ later reports suggested that the horse would remain in training with the aim of running the Arc in 2015. Two second place results for Treve came in the Prix Ganay and the Prince of Wales Stakes.

Retired Horses

I lost track of how many racehorses were retired in the last few weeks, but here are the ones I remember. Sadly a lot seem to have been forced from the track through injury such as Derby winner Australia with right hind hoof problems. Having secured two more G1 wins after the Derby a third G1 was scuppered, when Australia came second in the Irish Champion Stakes to The Grey Gatsby (remains in training). The 2013 Derby winner Ruler of the World was retired for breeding due to a hind quarter muscle injury. Also retired to stud were Kingman and Sole Power. Taghrooda was retired immediately after coming third in the Arc.

Horse Whispers

Some of the chatter gleaned from the stable called Twitter

Hot off the press from @PA_Stables on 13th November: Sire De Grugy to undergo a crucial scan on Wed 19th November to see the full extent of injury suffered in a morning workout on Wed 12th Nov. This unfortunate setback meant that the horse would be unable to take part in this weekend’s opening event at Cheltenham.

Channel 4 is to make a documentary about Sir Henry Cecil & Frankel to be aired in June 2015.

Integral will remain in training as a five year old.

Jockey Club Racecourses announced 340 races to be held in 2015 compared to 364 in 2014.

There is now a Quevega’s bar bedecked in red and blue at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Al Shaqab Racing to sponsor Newbury’s Lockinge Stakes raising the prize money to £350,000.

Cirrus Des Aigles could next run in the Hong Kong Cup in December. Looking back at some of the results recorded in these blogs I can see this horse had good wins in the Prix Ganay and Prix d’Isapahan. However Cirrus Des Aigles was stripped of a Prix Dollar victory after a steward’s enquiry, and was relegated to fifth place in his first run since June’s Coronation Cup.

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