A feast of top-class action on Irish Champions Weekend and at Doncaster's William Hill St Leger Festival has ensured a shake up in the standings for this year's Cartier Racing Awards.
Magical (168 points) has regained top spot in the Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Older Horse categories after securing her second G1 of the campaign in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 14, day one of Irish Champions Weekend.
Aidan O'Brien's star filly has yet to finish outside of the first two in seven starts in 2019 and the four-year-old is now set for a rematch with her chief rival Enable (128), who has had her measure twice this season, in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 6.
Magical started the season with a hat-trick of wins in Ireland, headlined by a seven-length success in the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 26.
The 29th annual Cartier Racing Awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of 300 in London, England, on the evening of Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
The longstanding and prestigious 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 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.
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 most recent recipients have been David Oldrey, Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O'Brien, Jack Berry, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Jim Bolger, Team Frankel, Barry Hills, Richard Hannon and John Oxx.
Star stayer Stradivarius (128) could be a contender for Cartier Horse Of The Year honours after a smooth victory in the G2 Magners Rose Doncaster Cup on September 13. Trained by John Gosden, Bjorn Nielsen's homebred is now unbeaten in his last 10 starts.
Gosden dominates the Cartier Stayer category, with Stradivarius joined in the standings by stablemates Logician (48) and four-year-old filly Enbihaar (36). Both horses were also in winning action at Doncaster - Logician captured the final Classic of the season, the G1 William Hill St Leger, in a track record time, while Enbihaar landed her third G2 prize of the season in the DFS Park Hill Stakes.
Another Gosden-trained runner Star Catcher (80) closed the gap on dual Classic winner Hermosa (112) in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly division. Star Catcher followed up her G1 Kerrygold Irish Oaks triumph with a front-running success in the G1 Qatar Prix Vermeille at Longchamp, France, on September 15. Hermosa meanwhile had gone down narrowly to Iridessa (66) in the G1 Coolmore "Fastnet Rock" Matron Stakes at Leopardstown the previous afternoon.
The Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt division is finely poised with the now retired Too Darn Hot (112) holding a slight advantage over G1 Juddmonte International victor Japan (108), with G1 Royal Ascot scorers Circus Maximus (88) and Advertise (80) also in contention.
Advertise was unable make ground on Blue Point (106) in the Cartier Sprinter category, having been forced to miss the Betfair Sprint Cup on September 7. The Haydock Park contest was won in good style from the front by Hello Youmzain (56) and also featured Fairyland (40), who turned out quickly again to win the G1 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on September 15.
Godolphin starlet Pinatubo (48) is the standout contender for Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt honours after devastating nine-length victory in the G1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on September 15, day two of Irish Champions Weekend. The unbeaten Shamardal colt is tied on points with A'Ali and Threat, who both bagged G2 contests at Doncaster last week, plus G1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes victor Siskin.
Love (40) moved into contention for Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly award with a narrow victory over Daahyeh (32) in the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh on September 15. The Mark Johnston-trained Raffle Prize (48) leads the category after G2 wins at Royal Ascot and Newmarket's Moët & Chandon July Festival as well as a second against the boys in the G1 Darley Prix Morny on August 18.