Dubai: Godolphin’s year just keeps getting better and better. With 620 winners worldwide, including 27 at Group level, you could not have bargained for more success from the Dubai-owned thoroughbred racing stable.
But late on Tuesday evening at the Dorchester Hotel in London, the Boys in Blue and their trainer Charlie Appleby claimed two major prizes at the 29th annual Cartier Racing Awards, European flat-racing’s equivalent of the Oscars.
Retired sprinter Blue Point picked up the coveted Sprinter of the Year Award, staving off stiff competition from accomplished speedsters Battash, Advertise and So Perfect, while the outstanding Pinatubo was adjudged Two-Year-Old Colt ahead of fellow Godolphin contender Earthlight, Kameko and Siskin.
Godolphin have now won over 20 Cartier Racing Awards since they were established in 1991 to reward excellence in European horse racing.
Eight equine awards, ranging from the Horse Of The Year to the Two-Year-Old Colt and Two-Year-Old Filly, were distributed on Tuesday night at a glittering ceremony, which was attended by the who’s who in European racing.
In addition, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 16-strong Cartier Jury, have done the most for European racing and/or breeding, went to jockey Pat Smullen.
Blue Point, who started the year by winning the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March, went through 2019 unbeaten in five starts.
The son of outstanding Godolphin stallion Shamardal, a Cartier Racing Award winner in 2004, became the first European-trained horse in almost 100 years to win both the Group 1 sprint races at Royal Ascot, the King’s Stand and Diamond Jubilee in the same week.
He was subsequently retired to stud and joined the glittering Darley stallion roster.
Pinatubo, another son of Shamardal, was unbeaten in six starts between May and October.
This made him the highest-rated juvenile on official British Horseracing Authority ratings since Celtic Swing a quarter-of-a-century earlier.
Blue Point began the campaign at Meydan, where his three successes were topped with G1 success in the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night in March. He was then given a near three-month break and headed to Royal Ascot. On day one, he was the comfortable length-and-a-quarter winner of the G1 King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs. He turned out to contest the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes on day five over a furlong further, when he had to work harder but came out on top again. He became the first horse the complete the King’s Stand/Diamond Jubilee double in the same year since Choisir in 2003 and the first ever to win both races when they have both been run at G1 level.
Meanwhile, the John Gosden-trained Enable won the prestigious Cartier Horse Of The Year Award.
Bred by Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, the five-year-old mare added a further three Group 1 (G1) successes to her remarkable CV in 2019, with victories in the Coral-Eclipse, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
This was the second time Enable was being crowned Horse Of The Year, with the great mare having previously taken the top honour in 2017. She becomes just the third horse to be a two-time Horse Of The Year after Frankel (2011 & 2012) and Ouija Board (2004 & 2006).
Horses trained by John Gosden in Newmarket have now taken the Horse Of Year Award in five of the last six years, courtesy of Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015), Roaring Lion (2018) and Enable (2017 & 2019).
Godolphin's year in numbers
620 winners worldwide
27 Group 1 wins
145 Stakes winners
969 Individual winners
THE CARTIER RACING AWARDS WINNERS
Two-Year-Old Colt: Pinatubo
Two-Year-Old Filly: Quadrilateral
Three-Year-Old Colt: Too Darn Hot
Three-Year-Old Filly: Star Catcher
Sprinter: Blue Point
Older Horse: Enable
Horse of the Year: Enable
Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit: Pat Smullen