Fantastic Light Named Cartier Horse of the Year

Fantastic Light Named Cartier Horse of the Year
Photo: Mike Corrado
Breeders' Cup Turf winner Fantastic Light received the Cartier Award for Europe's Horse of the Year.
Breeders' Cup Turf winner Fantastic Light was honored Wednesday night with the Cartier "Horse of the Year" award during a ceremony at London's Four Seasons Hotel. Godolphin's Fantastic Light was also honored with the Older Horse Award, beating out stablemate Sakhee, runner-up in the Breeders Cup Classic.

Dual Derby winner Galileo, who had defeated Fantastic Light in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, received the 3-Year-Old Colt Award.

Two other Breeders' Cup championship day winners were also honored during the ceremony, with undefeated Johannesburg, impressive winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, took the 2-Year-Old Colt Award and Breeders' Cup Filly And Mare Turf winner Banks Hill was named top 3-Year-Old Filly

Another unbeaten horse, Queen's Logic, received the 2-Year-Old Filly Award and the Sprinter Award went to July Cup and Nunthorpe Stakes winner Mozart. The Stayer Award went to 8-year-old Persian Punch, who won the Goodwood Cup and finished third under top weight in last week's Melbourne Cup.

"We have enjoyed a brilliant and very high quality season with a whole host of top-class performers," said Harry Herbert, Cartier's racing consultant. "The Fantastic Light-Galileo rematch in the Irish Champion Stakes was, for me, the race of the year but we were also privileged to see two outstanding and unbeaten 2-year-olds in Queen's Logic and Johannesburg. Johannesburg must surely rank as one of the most impressive 2-year-old colts that we have seen for many years. His Breeders' Cup Juvenile victory was awesome."

In the only human award presented, The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit went Coolmore Stud's John Magnier. The Award of Merit is presented to the person, who in the opinion of the Cartier jury, has done most for European racing and/or breeding either over a lifetime or within the past 12 months, according to a release announcing the awards.

Cartier Award winners are determined by three separate processes -- points earned in pattern races (50% of the total), votes from writers at The Daily Telegraph, Racing Post and The Times (25%), and votes from The Daily Telegraph readers (25%). Points are awarded for wins and places in group I, II, and III and grade I races through the year. The journalists vote five times during the season and The Daily Telegraph readers at the end of it.

CARTIER AWARD WINNERS (with commentary from Harry Herbert):

2--Year-Old Colt
JOHANNESBURG (USA)
b c Hennessy (USA) - Myth (Ogygian)
Owner: Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier Trainer: Aidan O'Brien IRE
Has not looked back since winning on his debut at Fairyhouse on May 30. His six subsequent wins include the Group Three Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, Group Three Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh, Group One Phoenix Stakes at Leopardstown, Group One Prix Morny at Deauville, Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket and the Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park, USA.


2-Year-Old-Filly
QUEEN'S LOGIC (IRE)
ch f Grand Lodge - Lagrion (Diesis)
Owner: Jaber Abdullah Trainer: Mick Channon
Made a successful debut at Newbury on May 18 and has gone on to land the Group Three Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York and most recently romped to a seven-length success in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.


3-Year-Old Colt
GALILEO (IRE)
b c Sadler's Wells (USA) - Urban Sea (Miswaki) Owner: Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor Trainer: Aidan O'Brien IRE
After easily winning two trials in Ireland, he came to Epsom unbeaten and ran out a hugely impressive winner of the Derby when beating Golan by three and a half lengths. The winning margin was four lengths in the Irish Derby and he accounted for Fantastic Light by two lengths in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. Over two furlongs shorter, the same rival beat him in the Irish Champion Stakes by a head.


3-Year-Old Filly
BANKS HILL (GB)
b f Danehill (USA) - Hasili (Kahyasi)
Owner: Prince Khalid Abdullah Trainer: Andre Fabre FR
After being beaten a head into second in the French 1,000 Guineas at Longchamp, Banks Hill took the Group Two Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly on June 3 and saw off a top-class field at Royal Ascot 19 days later when landing the Group One Coronation Stakes. Her greatest moment came on her latest start when winning the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf by five and a half lengths at Belmont Park.

Stayer
PERSIAN PUNCH (IRE)
8 ch g Persian Heights - Rum Cay (USA) (Our Native (USA)) Owner: Jeff Smith Trainer: David Elsworth
One of the most popular horses in training, Persian Punch has proved as good as ever this season. He was beaten a head by Royal Rebel in the Group One Gold Cup at Royal Ascot before winning the Group Two Goodwood Cup by a length and a half. He went on to win the Group Three Lonsdale Stakes at York and last week finished third under top weight in the Group One Melbourne Cup at Flemington in Australia.

Sprinter
MOZART (IRE)
3 b c Danehill (USA) - Victoria Cross (Spectacular Bid (USA)) Owner: Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier Trainer: Aidan O'Brien IRE
After finishing second in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh, Mozart was dropped back to seven furlongs for the Group Three Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, which he landed by a neck. He raced over a furlong less again in the Group One July Cup where he scored by three and a half lengths and, over the minimum trip, won the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes by two lengths from Nuclear Debate at York.


Older Horse/ Horse Of The Year
FANTASTIC LIGHT (USA)
5 b h Rahy (USA) - Jood (Nijinsky (CAN)) Owner: Godolphin Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Finished second in the Group Two Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba in March and then beat Golden Snake by a neck in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh two months later. He put up an outstanding effort to beat Kalanisi by two and a half lengths in the Group One Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and then found Galileo two lengths too good over 12 furlongs in the Group One King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot. Stepping back to ten furlongs, he held off Galileo in the Group One Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown before landing the Grade One Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont on his swansong.


The Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit
JOHN MAGNIER
53-year-old John Magnier is the most-powerful man in the bloodstock world. He developed Coolmore Stud in Co Tipperary, Ireland, with his father-in-law, trainer Vincent O'Brien, and Robert Sangster in the 1970s, buying and breeding potential stallions with great success. Magnier is now managing director of Coolmore, home to some 50 stallions in Ireland, America and Australia, and proprietor of the Ballydoyle training establishment from where Aidan O'Brien has enjoyed outstanding success. In the mid-1990s Magnier teamed up with Michael Tabor in racehorse ownership on a major scale and the pair have enjoyed a phenomenal run, with flag-bearers this season including dual Derby winner Galileo, champion two-year-old Johannesburg, champion sprinter Mozart and classic winners Milan, Imagine, Rose Gypsy and Black Minnaloushe.

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