Juddmonte Farms' homebred 3-year-old filly Enable was named Cartier Horse of the Year at the 27th annual Cartier Racing Awards ceremony Nov. 14 at the Dorchester Hotel in London.
From the first crop of Nathaniel, Enable's year-end honors come on the heels of a dominant season where she recorded five consecutive group 1 victories capped by a 2 1/2-length win in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) Oct. 1.
Trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori in all her 2017 wins, Enable was superior against her own sex in two classics, the Investec Oaks (G1) at Epsom Downs and the Darley Irish Oaks (G1) at the Curragh, winning by open lengths each time.
Lining up against colts and older opposition for the first time in Ascot's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1), Enable faced a formidable challenge that included defending champion Highland Reel, impressive Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) winner Jack Hobbs, and multiple group 1 winner Ulysses. Such quality foes were still no match for the bay filly as she earned a 4 1/2-length victory.
After capturing the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) in August, Enable created history by becoming the first British-trained filly to win Europe's most valuable race: the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly. Her comfortable victory against a high-class field was an outstanding performance and the prospect of Enable staying in training in 2018 whets the appetite of racing enthusiasts.
"Enable enjoyed five commanding victories at the group 1 level and her performances, particularly at Ascot and Chantilly, mark her out as a filly of rare distinction. She is a very appropriate winner of Cartier Horse of the Year," said Harry Herbert, Cartier's racing consultant.
Enable also easily took home Cartier 3-year-olld filly honors from Winter, Lady Aurelia, and Roly Poly, while her stable companion Cracksman, owned by Anthony Oppenheimer, was named the Cartier 3-year-old colt following his impressive seven-length success in the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot in October. Cracksman is set to return as a 4-year-old with Gosden eyeing a mouth-watering clash with Enable in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Even by his own high standards, Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien enjoyed an outstanding 2017 as he set a world record of 27 grade/group 1 wins. O'Brien is responsible for both the 2017 Cartier 2-year-old colt, U S Navy Flag, and Cartier 2-year-old filly, Happily, while Order of St George scooped the Cartier Stayer Award for the second year in succession.
U S Navy Flag, bred in Kentucky by Misty For Me Syndicate, is the first horse since Diesis in 1982 to win both the group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes and Darley Dewhurst Stakes.
Thrilling Harry Angel is the winner of the 2017 Cartier Sprinter Award. The Godolphin-owned 3-year-old colt, trained by Clive Cox, showed tremendous versatility with victories over six furlongs on good to firm ground in Newmarket's Darley July Cup Stakes (G1) and on heavy ground in the 32Red Sprint Cup Stakes (G1) at Haydock Park.
"The prospect of Enable, Cracksman, and Harry Angel, the Cartier Sprinter for 2017, all retuning next year is a mouth-watering prospect," Herbert said.
Ulysses is the Cartier Older Horse for 2017 after registering a group 1, 10-furlong double in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park and the Juddmonte International Stakes at York. Ulysses rounded off his career with another commendable effort, taking third behind Enable in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly Oct. 1. He shipped to California to contest the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T), but was ruled out on veterinary advice due to a minor issue with his ankle.
Ulysses' trainer Sir Michael Stoute earned the Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit. Since he commenced his training career in Newmarket in 1972, the Barbados-born Stoute has blossomed into a master of his profession with top-level victories across the globe.
"Sir Michael Stoute has been a master of his profession for over 40 years and he is a most worthy recipient of the Cartier/The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit," Herbert said. "His handling of Ulysses in 2017 was outstanding and sees that colt named as Cartier Older Horse."