Race on for Cartier Awards
Al Kazeem and Sky Lantern remain at the top of the points' standings for the Cartier Horse Of The Year Award with 148 apiece, but notable performances over recent weeks have thrown the race for top honours wide open.
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Points earned in Pattern races throughout the year count towards 40 per cent of the process to arrive at the eight equine Cartier Racing Awards winners each year.
Another 40 per cent is allocated to the findings of Cartier's panel of journalists, chaired by Brough Scott, at the end of the season, with votes (starting at noon on Wednesday and ending on Tuesday, November 5) from the readers of The Daily Telegraph and Racing Post, plus viewers of Channel 4 Racing, accounting for the remaining 20 per cent.
The stunning victory of Treve (112) in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, France, on October 6, ensured the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained unbeaten filly firmly enters the equation for the Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Awards.
A golden fortnight for Treve's owner Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani also featured the impressive success of Olympic Glory (72) in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) at Ascot.
Richard Hannon's charge has produced a strong challenge for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt category after readily dispatching of a top-class field that included Dawn Approach (116), who was retired to stud after finishing fourth at Ascot. Godolphin's son of New Approach posted a pair of Group One victories this season, in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes.
Dawn Approach's trainer Jim Bolger is also responsible for Trading Leather (128), who currently heads the points for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt ahead of his stable companion. This year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby victor missed QIPCO British Champions Day due to soft ground but is set to remain in training next year. Investec Derby hero Ruler Of The World (76), who put up his best performance at Ascot last weekend, is also in contention for the Award and set to race on as a four-year-old.
Cartier Older Horse contender Farhh (80) certainly revelled in the conditions at Ascot on QIPCO Champions Day as he annexed a second Group One win this season, from just two starts, with a thrilling neck verdict over Cirrus Des Aigles in Britain's richest race, the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes, with the pair narrowly ahead of Ruler Of The World.
The Godolphin horse is now set to take up stallion duties, while retirement from racing also beckons for leading sprinter Lethal Force (120), successful in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Darley July Cup and Germany's best horse Novellist (98), a Group One winner in three countries this season, including a stunning five-length victory in Ascot's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes Sponsored by Betfair.
Slade Power (53) continued Irish trainer Edward Lynam's superb record with sprinters when victorious in the Group Two QIPCO British Champions Sprint on QIPCO British Champions Day. The four-year-old moves up to joint-third in the race for Cartier Sprinter honours alongside his stable companion Sole Power (53), with Lethal Force and Society Rock (64) ahead.
Estimate (56) could only finish seventh in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on very soft ground at Ascot on Saturday but the Queen's filly remains at the head of the Cartier Stayer category thanks to her victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
War Command (92) leapt to the top of the Cartier Two-Year-Old colt standings with victory in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes on Dubai Future Champions Day at Newmarket on October 12, while Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Rizeena (108) continues to head the standings for Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award.
While the season in Europe is almost at an end, there are other chances for horses to enhance their claims for the Cartier Racing Awards before November 5, particularly at the Breeders' Cup which is held at Santa Anita Park, USA, on November 1 & 2.
Olympic Glory could continue his late charge for Cartier honours in the Breeders' Cup Mile with QIPCO Sussex Stakes winner Toronado (70) also being considered by Hannon and Sheikh Joaan for the same contest.
Declaration Of War (108), successful in the Juddmonte International at York in August, is being readied for a tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic, while The Fugue (92) could line up in either the Breeders' Cup Turf or the Filly & Mare equivalent, in which she was third last year.
Stayers Simenon (32), Verema (37) and Voleuse Des Couers (27) are all set to feature in the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Australia, on November 5.
Closer to home, there are still six European Group One contests remaining this year, including the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster this weekend, which could feature leading Cartier Two Year Old Colt contender Toormore (64), and the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp.
Harry Herbert, Cartier's Racing Consultant, commented: "QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot proved a fitting finale to the British Flat season with the QIPCO Champion Stakes serving up a thrilling spectacle as well as another compliment to Frankel, who beat both the winner and the runner-up last year.
"Olympic Glory's win in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO highlighted the brilliant combination of Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes, while Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani has firmly established himself as a leading owner in Europe with two major successes in as many weeks.
"Attention now turns towards Doncaster on Saturday and the international scene and there is still time for horses to mount a late charge for the Cartier Racing Awards."