Frankel named Britain’s Horse of the Year

Frankel closes in on the finish line in front for the 14th and final time.
Frankel closes in on the finish line in front for the 14th and final time. © Lulu Kyriacou

Recently retired superhorse Frankel has won the Cartier Horse of the Year title for the second successive year.

Owned and bred by Prince Khalid Abdulla and trained by Sir Henry Cecil, four-year-old Frankel also takes the honours in the Cartier Older Horse category.

Sir Henry Cecil commented: “All of us at Warren Place are thrilled that Frankel’s achievements this year have been recognised with him winning this most prestigious award for the second time running.

“Frankel with his brilliance has been a great ambassador for British Racing and has captured the hearts of so many people, some of whom have never been racing in their lives.

“Thank you Frankel and to everyone that has voted for him.”

Unfortunately, Cecil is not well enough to attend the awards ceremony.

There has only been one other dual Cartier Horse of the Year and that was the great racemare Ouija Board, who gained the sought-after accolade in both 2004 and 2006. She won a total of four Cartier Awards.

Jockey Tom Queally celebrates on Frankel after their Champion Stakes win.
Jockey Tom Queally celebrates on Frankel after their Champion Stakes win. © Lulu Kyriacou

Frankel, very unusually a champion in each of the three years he raced, has gone one better, with five Cartier Awards. In addition, there is the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit which this year has gone to Team Frankel. The award is for the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 16-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months. Team Frankel includes all the people who contributed to the horse’s development at Juddmonte Farms in Britain and Ireland plus those assembled by Sir Henry Cecil to train him.

The annual Cartier Racing Awards are announced for the 22nd year on Tuesday night (GB time) before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, England.

The Cartier Awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. They are determined by points earned by horses in Pattern races throughout 2012, combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists and votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph.

Frankel has finished his racing career after 14 unbeaten starts and on November 8 moved from Cecil’s Warren Place stables, the horse’s home since January 14, 2010, back to nearby Banstead Manor Stud, where he was born, in preparation for taking up stud duties early next year.

He was better than ever during 2012 and brilliant victories included the devastating 11-length win in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and his imperious success when tried over 10 furlongs for the first time in the Group One Juddmonte International at York in August.

His final start came in Britain’s most valuable race, the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20, when he was the comfortable winner from the world’s second-best horse, Cirrus Des Aigles, despite very soft going and a slow start. Frankel’s earnings of nearly £3 million as a racehorse will be dwarfed by his stud career takings and he is now worth over £100 million as a stallion prospect.

In the Cartier Horse of the Year category, Frankel triumphed over three-time Classic winner Camelot, Cirrus Des Aigles, Excelebration and Nathaniel. His rivals in the Cartier Older Horse category were again Cirrus Des Aigles, Excelebration and Nathaniel plus Moonlight Cloud.

Harry Herbert, Cartier’s racing consultant, commented: “Frankel lit up all our lives with his magnificent performances in 2012 and during the previous two years.

“He is the most successful horse in the 22-year history of the Cartier Racing Awards and that is no surprise given his domination of so many races.

“Sir Henry Cecil thinks there has never been a better racehorse and tonight we celebrate Frankel’s achievements and those of the team behind him.”

Black Caviar
Black Caviar.

Tremendous Australian racemare Black Caviar, unbeaten in 22 outings, takes the Cartier Sprinter Award, albeit narrowly from the Richard Fahey-trained Mayson, a talented and tough speedster who won the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket decisively, with Wizz Kid, Moonlight Cloud and another Australian mare Ortensia also in contention. Black Caviar, trained by Peter Moody, came over to Britain this year for the six-furlong Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and looked like winning quite comfortably before her jockey Luke Nolen eased down in the closing stages and nearly gave the race away, holding on by a head.

Camelot always held sway for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award, with the Coolmore owned and Aidan O’Brien-trained colt winning three straight Classics – the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas, the Investec Derby and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby – before coming second in the Ladbrokes St Leger when attempting the British Triple Crown. He was followed by Saonais, Encke, Bayrir and Most Improved.

The Fugue has never finished out of the first four and a lack of luck contributed to the talented filly only winning one Group One this year, the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. She could easily have triumphed on her latest start in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on November 2 but found her run blocked and also did not have the rub of the green in other races. Nevertheless, she did enough to gain the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award for owner/breeders Lord & Lady Lloyd-Webber ahead of another John Gosden-trained filly Elusive Kate, Was, Shirocco Star and Beauty Parlour.

Dawn Approach went through his first season unbeaten in six outings and the Jim Bolger-trained colt is the winner in the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award, seeing off fellow Group/Grade One winners Reckless Abandon, Olympic Glory, George Vancouver and Kingsbarns.

Another Godolphin-owned two-year-old Certify, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, also enjoyed an unblemished juvenile career and the four-time winner is the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly, getting the nod over Sky Lantern, Rosdhu Queen, Flotilla and Silasol.

Colour Vision, also owned by Godolphin but trained by Saeed bin Suroor, takes the honours in the Cartier Stayer category after his Gold Cup victory at Royal Ascot. The others in contention were Times Up, Saddlers Rock, Opinion Poll and Rite Of Passage.


2012 Frankel
2011 Frankel
2010 Goldikova
2009 Sea the Stars
2008 Zarkava
2007 Dylan Thomas
2006 Ouija Board
2005 Hurricane Run
2004 Ouija Board
2003 Dalakhani
2002 Rock of Gibraltar
2001 Fantastic Light
2000 Giant’s Causeway
1999 Daylami
1998 Dream Well
1997 Peintre Celebre
1996 Helissio
1995 Ridgewood Pearl
1994 Barathea
1993 Lochsong
1992 User Friendly
1991 Arazi



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