Enable gained a thrilling second consecutive victory in the G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, France, on October 7 and the brilliant filly may now create another piece of history by becoming the third horse to be crowned the Cartier Horse Of The Year twice.
Only Ouija Board (2004 & 2006) and Frankel (2011 & 2012) have received this premier equine accolade more than once, but the John Gosden-trained four-year-old could join such illustrious company following her short-neck verdict over Sea Of Class in Europe's leading middle-distance and richest contest.
Victory at Longchamp saw Enable, out with injury for most of the year, move up to 56 points in the Cartier Horse Of The Year and the Cartier Older Horse standings, but the daughter of Nathaniel, homebred by owner Khalid Abdullah, holds leading chances in both categories due to the unique nature of the Cartier Racing Awards.
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 plus ITV Racing viewers (35%).
The participation of the public plays a crucial role in determining the winners of each year's Cartier Racing Awards and gives horseracing fans the chance to put forward their favourite horses in a meaningful way.
The 28th Cartier Racing Awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England, on the evening of Tuesday, November 13, 2018.
The longstanding and prestigious awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. There are eight equine awards, ranging from the Cartier Horse Of The Year to the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.
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 15-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months. The 10 latest recipients have been Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O'Brien, Jack Berry, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Jim Bolger, Team Frankel, Barry Hills, Richard Hannon, John Oxx and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Gosden has trained three of the past four winners of the Cartier Horse Of The Year Award, thanks to Kingman (2014) and Golden Horn (2015) joining Enable on the roll of honour.
The Newmarket handler is mounting another formidable challenge this year, with current category leader Roaring Lion (174), plus Stradivarius (112) and Cracksman (88), who are all due to run on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20, also in the mix with Enable. Stradivarius has dominated the 2018 Cartier Stayer Award standings throughout the year.
Gosden could yet have a leading candidate for Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt as well with the unbeaten Too Darn Hot (24) set to participate for owner/breeder Lord Lloyd-Webber in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes - a race that could also feature Advertise (56), Anthony Van Dyck (40) and Ten Sovereigns (40) - at Newmarket on October 13.
A superb weekend of racing across Europe last weekend saw a host of excellent performances including Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly contender Laurens (152), who annexed her fourth G1 of 2018 with another typically tough display in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 6. Trained by Karl Burke in Yorkshire, the John Dance-owned Laurens is due to challenge for Breeders' Cup glory at Churchill Downs, Kentucky early next month.
Godolphin's Wild Illusion (96) also advertised her claims for Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly glory with a determined victory in the G1 Prix de l'Opera Longines at Longchamp on Sunday, while Sea Of Class (88) enhanced her credentials in the same category following her narrow reversal, from a poor draw, to Enable. And don't forget the super filly Alpha Centauri (160), winner of four G1s this year, who had to be retired after a race injury last month.
On the same card, talented and consistent four-year-old filly Mabs Cross (68), who was beaten a nose in the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August, leapt to the head of the Cartier Sprinter standings with a cheeky success in the G1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines, also over five furlongs. The Michael Dods-trained speedster now has a definite lead on points for the Cartier Sprinter Award, with the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes over six furlongs on QIPCO British Champions Day, October 20, at Ascot likely to have strong bearing on the outcome of this category.
The Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award has an open look and Pretty Pollyanna (48), disappointing last time out, has a chance of going to the top if winning Friday's G1 bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket.