Goodwood favourites Battaash and Stradivarius among top award winners

Two of Goodwood's favourite horses - Battaash and Stradivarius - were among winners named at this year's prestigious Cartier Horse of the Year awards.

Sunday, 22nd November 2020, 3:15 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd November 2020, 3:22 pm
Battaash and Jim Crowley (right of picture) on their way to a fourth King George Stakes victory at Goodwood this year / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty

The pair - who have each won their respective races at Glorious Goodwood a remarkable four years in a row - were named sprinter and stayer of the year respectively.

Ghaiyyath was announced as Cartier Horse of the Year in a special broadcast on Sky Sports Racing which showed the 30th annual Cartier Racing Awards.

The five-year-old Dubawi horse becomes the third Cartier Horse of the Year owned by the Maktoum family’s Godolphin operation following Daylami (1999) and Fantastic Light (2001).

Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori on their way to Goodwood Cup success - the horse has won the race four years in a row / Picture: Malcolm Wells

The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. There are eight equine awards - the Cartier Horse Of The Year, the Cartier Older Horse, the Cartier Sprinter, the Cartier Stayer, the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt, the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly, the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.

European horseracing's top awards are delivered through a tried and tested combination of points earned by horses in Pattern races (30%), combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists/handicappers (35%) and votes from readers of Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph (35%).

In addition to the 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.

A bold front runner, Ghaiyyath lit up the summer with dominant victories in three G1 contests – the Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup, the Coral-Eclipse and the Juddmonte International. The other nominees for Cartier Horse of the Year were Addeybb, Battaash and Love.

Palace Pier, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and trained by John Gosden, takes the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt award following a superb campaign that saw him defeat the best of his own generation in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and then successfully take on the older generation in the G1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois at Deauville.

There have been few more spectacular Classic successes than that of Love in this year’s G1 Investec Oaks and she is named the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly in 2020. The daughter of Galileo, trained by Aidan O’Brien for a Coolmore syndicate, was undefeated in three starts, following up success in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas by winning the G1 Investec Oaks (by nine lengths) and the G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks (by five lengths).

Not many horses in training boast a following as large as Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Battaash and he takes the Cartier Sprinter honours this year. Now a six-year-old, Battaash was better than ever in 2020 and won all three of his starts over five furlongs – Royal Ascot’s G1 King’s Stand Stakes, the G2 King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood (for a fourth time) and the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York (for a second time).

For the third year in succession, Stradivarius is named Cartier Stayer. Owned by Bjorn Nielsen and trained by John Gosden, the six-year-old captured the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for a third time while at Goodwood the following month he won the G1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup for a remarkable fourth time.

Van Gogh is the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt in 2020, seeing off competition from Battleground, Mac Swiney and St Mark's Basilica. Owned by a Coolmore syndicate and trained by Aidan O’Brien, the American Pharoah colt signed off his campaign with a dominant victory in the G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

In the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly category, Pretty Gorgeous takes the honours. Trained by Joseph O’Brien for US-based John Oxley, she finished the year with G1 success in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.

John Gosden OBE is the recipient of the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in 2020. The master trainer has saddled over 3,500 winners to date in his 41-year career and continues to go from strength to strength.

Expertly handling the best horses for the world’s leading owners, he has been responsible for a record five Cartier Horse of the Year recipients – Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015), Enable (2017 & 2019) and Roaring Lion (2018).