Finalists for the 22nd annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing's equivalent of the Oscars, were revealed Friday. The nine awards will be announced and presented during a ceremony before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England, on the evening of November 13.
The five Cartier Horse of the Year finalists include the world's two best racehorses -- the unbeaten and outstanding Frankel and France's Cirrus des Aigles. They finished first and second in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20, with Nathaniel in third.
The two other finalists for that category, won by Frankel last year, are Camelot, the best three-year-old in Europe, and top miler Excelebration.
Two great Australian racemares -- the brilliant Black Caviar, unbeaten in 22 starts, and Ortensia -- both raced and won in England this year and they figure among the five finalists for the Cartier Sprinter. The other three up for that award are Mayson, Moonlight Cloud and Wizz Kid.
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.
In addition to the eight equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 16-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.
"We have enjoyed a vintage year of racing with thrilling performances from horses of different generations over all distances," said Harry Herbert, Cartier's racing consultant. "We were especially privileged to witness the wonderful Frankel, who was the Cartier Horse of the Year in 2011 and is certain to take that accolade again for an unprecedented second successive year.
"The Cartier Racing Awards honor those horses who reach the pinnacle of achievement in our wonderful sport and we are set for a memorable evening on November 13 when the winners are revealed."
The finalists, in alphabetical order, for the 2012 Cartier Racing Awards are as follows:
|CARTIER HORSE OF THE YEAR||CARTIER OLDER HORSE|
|Camelot||Cirrus des Aigles|
|Cirrus des Aigles||Excelebration|
|CARTIER SPRINTER||CARTIER STAYER|
|Black Caviar||Colour Vision|
|Moonlight Cloud||Rite of Passage|
|Wizz Kid||Times Up|
|CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT||CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY|
|Most Improved||The Fugue|
|CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT||CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY|
|Reckless Abandon||Sky Lantern|