All the reaction from the winners at the 30th annual Cartier Racing Awards

Published 2020/11/21

The presentation of the 30th annual Cartier Racing Awards was broadcast this evening in a special programme on Sky Sports Racing, with the COVID-19 pandemic having prevented the traditional awards ceremony at The Dorchester from taking place.

Below can be found all the reaction from connections of the winners of the eight equine awards plus the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit recipient John Gosden.

Introducing the 30th Cartier Racing Awards, Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK, said:

“In a very challenging year, we are very pleased tonight to have the Cartier Racing Awards. As you may know, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Cartier Racing Awards, therefore it was very important for us to be able to host them again this year. I would like to thank our media partners and in particular Sky Sports Racing broadcasting tonight’s programme. I also want to thank our longstanding partners, the Daily Telegraph and the Racing Post. We have had so many incredible winners throughout the past years. Now there is only one thing to do; enjoy the show.”

Cartier Horse of the Year – GHAIYYATH Cartier Horse of the Year in 2020 was Ghaiyyath.

The five-year-old Dubawi horse lit up the summer with three electrifying G1 victories from the front in the Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup, Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International.

Hugh Anderson, Godolphin Managing Director, UK and Dubai, said:

“Thank you very much to Cartier, thank you to Harry Herbert. We are sorry not to be at the Dorchester Hotel, we are at the equine equivalent at Dalham Hall Stud. We are delighted that for once at this awards ceremony, we have the horse itself and I promise next time we win the Horse of the Year award, we will bring a horse to the hotel so we can look forward to that!

“On behalf of Godolphin and on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed, thank you very much for this award, it means a huge amount. Ghaiyyath is one of the all-time greats for Godolphin. He has really made 2020 a fantastic year for us. I want to personally thank Charlie Appleby and William Buick for their fantastic teamwork in delivering these outstanding G1 wins. I want to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for his support this year and into next year too. It has been a wonderful finish to this year, thanks again Cartier, all the best.”


Hugh Anderson

Jockey William Buick, who partnered Ghaiyyath throughout 2020, commented:

“It is amazing for Ghaiyyath to win the Cartier Horse of the Year. Thank you to everybody involved, especially the horse. He really deserves it and is an amazing horse to ride. I feel very privileged to have ridden a horse of his calibre. As a racehorse, he really did have everything. I have never ridden a horse with so much pace that can sustain it over the trips he ran over. He wore his heart on his sleeve and, as exciting as he looked, he was just as exciting to ride. He was an amazing horse and I will miss riding him.”

Cartier Older Horse – GHAIYYATH Ghaiyyath’s exploits meant he also took the honours for Cartier Older Horse in 2020.

His trainer Charlie Appleby said:

“I would like to thank everybody involved in the Cartier Awards. To win older horse of the year with Ghaiyyath has been a fantastic achievement by everyone involved with Godolphin. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has followed this horse very closely from being a yearling through his two-year-old career and thankfully it has culminated in what he has achieved this year. It has been a great feeling for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, all of his family and everyone involved with Godolphin. Thankfully, I now pass the baton over to the breeding operation and I am sure they will have a lot of fun and success with him in his career.”


Charlie Appleby

Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt – PALACE PIER

The Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt of 2020 was star miler Palace Pier.

He announced his arrival at the top table when winning the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and went on to defeat the best all-aged opposition in the G1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

Jono Mills, Bloodstock Director Godolphin and Darley, said:

“Thank you very much and on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed [owner of Palace Pier], I would like to thank Cartier, the Daily Telegraph and everyone else for this very prestigious award. I would also like to thank John Gosden and all of the team here at Clarehaven who have done an amazing job with Palace Pier this season. Without doubt, I think his best performance was the St James’s Palace Stakes. He was taking on Pinatubo, who was the champion two-year-old last year and who had become a fabulous three-year-old, in a sterling finish, so it was a fabulous race. Being awarded a championship trophy like this is always hugely prestigious and we are very grateful to receive it – it is a great honour.”


Jono Mills

Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly – LOVE The outstanding Love won all three of her starts in 2020.

Starting off with success in the G1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, she added a second Classic to her CV when the stunning nine-length victory in the G1 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs.

Love rounded off her year by defeating all-aged opposition by five lengths in the G1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

Paul Smith said: “On behalf of the Magnier family, the Tabor family and the Smith family, I would like to thank Cartier, the Racing Post, Daily Telegraph and Sky Sports Racing for this award.

“The three-year-old filly this season was a highly competitive division and we are delighted to win it with the daughter of Galileo.

I would like to give a special mention to Ryan Moore who rode her this year, to Aidan and Anne-Marie O’Brien and all the team at Ballydoyle who have looked after her.”

Trainer Aidan O’Brien added: “Love has obviously won the two Classics, the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks. To finish off in the Yorkshire Oaks was very special and what also makes it very special is that she is by Galileo who was born, bred and reared in Coolmore.

The lads went and found Pikaboo to go to Galileo and that is originally how it all happened. Obviously without them none of this would be happening and we are so grateful to them.

Thanks again to Cartier for this very special award for the filly to win.”


The Cartier Sprinter in 2020 is Battaash.

The six-year-old was better than ever in 2020 when winning all three of his starts – the G1 King’s Stand Stakes, the G2 King George Qatar Stakes (for a fourth time) and the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (for a second time). Angus Gold, Racing Manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said:

“On behalf of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, I would like to say a huge thank you to Cartier and Laurent Feniou. I believe this is the 30th year of their support for this great night of awards, and how grateful we all are in the industry to have their support, they have been absolutely fantastic.

“A huge thank you to them and Harry Herbert, who has coordinated it for so long. They are special awards that we all strive for and it is a huge thrill to win one.

“To keep a horse going at that level for that long, it is a great reward for so many people, especially Charlie Hills and his wonderful team in Lambourn who have done so well with Battaash. A big congratulations to them.

“I have just seen a video of Battaash this morning out in the paddock at the stud being a lunatic and having a lovely holiday. Hopefully, as long as he is in good form next year, we will be back then to see what he can do.”


Angus Gold

Cartier Stayer – STRADIVARIUS For the third year in succession, Stradivarius is Cartier Stayer.

The six-year-old landed a third G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and a fourth G1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen said: “First of all, I wanted to thank Cartier, the Daily Telegraph and the Racing Post for recognising the top horses in their respective divisions.

“It is particularly gratifying for me to receive this award on behalf of Stradivarius in the staying division because I have been a huge fan of the stayers since my youth.

“I have to thank John Gosden and his staff, Robert Havlin who has ridden him [at home] all year, and of course Frankie (Dettori) who has ridden the horse so brilliantly for the last three years. Frankie knows him so well - where to put him in the race and when to push the button - and they have formed a terrific partnership.

“Thank you very much for this award. Stradivarius will be back again next year, and we will see if we can do it again in the Gold Cup. It is a difficult thing to do, but if he is enthusiastic, he is going to give it a go. Thank you very much.”

Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt - VAN GOGH

Van Gogh was named Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt following a fruitful campaign the culminated with an impressive success in the G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

Accepting the award, M V Magnier said: “On behalf of the owners, I would like to thank Cartier, along with the journalists, the readers of the Racing Post and of course the Daily Telegraph, and most importantly the racing public who voted for Van Gogh to be Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt.

“Aidan has done an incredible job with this horse throughout the year. He always felt the horse would improve and he feels the horse will improve into his three-year-old year also.”

Trainer Aidan O’Brien commented:

“Before he came here, he had a big reputation, and we were all looking forward to seeing what he was going to do.

“He is a big horse, so he was a little bit weak early and progressed with every run. I suppose in France we saw what he could really do.

“Thanks goes to Cartier and obviously John and Sue [Magnier], Doreen and Michael [Tabor], David and Diane [Nagle], and Gay and Derrick [Smith] for making this happen. Thanks again to Cartier.”


M V Magnier

Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly - PRETTY GORGEOUS Pretty Gorgeous took the honours in the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly category following a tremendously consistent campaign that culminated with victory in the G1 bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket. Justin Casse, Bloodstock Advisor to owner John (known as Jack) Oxley, said:

“First of all, I would like to thank Cartier and all of the people who voted for us in this award.

“Second of all, it is an honour to be here on behalf of Mr Jack Oxley. Most of America knows that he is an incredible sportsman and now he has that same reputation going with him to Europe.

“Four years ago, he asked me about getting involved in Europe and here we are a few years later. To be able to accept something of this magnitude is what we all live and do this for. It is really a dream come true.

“What the filly has been able to accomplish has been amazing. When Jack, as he likes to be referred to, Mr Oxley, wanted to run something in Europe, I said there was only one outfit that we were going to choose, and that was with Joseph O’Brien.

“Joseph and the team have done a tremendous job of managing her and taking care of her. From the very first day, Joseph has had nothing but the highest opinion of her.

“We are extremely excited about what is coming for 2012 and where she may take us. Thank you again.”

Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit – JOHN GOSDEN OBE

The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in 2020 went to trainer John Gosden.

A true master of his profession and always an elegant proponent of racing’s case in the wider media, he has trained champions in both the USA and Europe.

Gosden’s prowess is amply demonstrated by the fact he has been responsible for a record five Cartier Horse of the Year recipients.

John Gosden said: “I would like to thank Cartier and the Daily Telegraph for this profoundly fulfilling award, and to thank all of the horses through the years that I have trained.

“I think it has special significance to us here this year because Palace Pier has won the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt award, which means that this stable has won six of the last seven Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt awards.

“I have always said that, unless you have the right horses with the right owners with the right jockey and the best staff, it is hard to climb these heights. I am forever thankful for everyone who has worked around me down the years from America through to here in the UK.

“To those passionate owner/breeders, you send us the horses and entrust them to us, to the wonderful horses themselves and to the wonderful team we have here at Clarehaven Stables, I thank on behalf of all of us.”


John Gosden

To view a special video celebrating John Gosden as the 2020 Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit recipient, please click here

Ghaiyyath is Horse of the Year at the 30th annual Cartier Racing Awards

Ghaiyyath was announced as Cartier Horse of the Year in a special broadcast this evening on Sky Sports Racing (8.30pm GMT) of 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).

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. Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick throughout 2020, Ghaiyyath also takes the honours in the Cartier Older Horse category ahead of Addeybb, Enable and Magical. 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. The other nominees for Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt were Kameko, Pinatubo and Siskin. 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). Also nominated for Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly were Alpine Star, Fancy Blue and Wonderful Tonight. 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). The Charlie Hills-trained speedster takes the honours ahead of Dream Of Dreams, Glass Slippers and Glen Shiel. 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. Also nominated for Cartier Stayer were Galileo Chrome, Princess Zoe and Wonderful Tonight. 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. Also nominated for Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly were Alcohol Free, Campanelle and Tiger Tanaka. 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). Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, commented:

“Back in the spring, nobody knew if we would even have a European Flat season in 2020 but with the hard work of everyone in the racing industry we were ultimately rewarded with a season to savour.

“Racing cannot continue without the ongoing support of owners and I would like to extend my congratulations to tonight’s winners - Godolphin, Coolmore, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Bjorn Nielsen and John Oxley.

“John Gosden has truly reached the summit of his profession and is the perfect recipient for the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in 2020. With his supreme eloquence and communication skills, racing is very lucky to have such a fabulous ambassador.

“I would like to end by extending special thanks to Cartier, Sky Sports Racing. The Daily Telegraph and Racing Post.

“Cartier’s support of these prestigious awards stretches right back to 1991 and is ongoing, even in today’s troubled times. We are truly blessed to be able to enjoy such tremendous support.”

Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK, commented:

“In what has proved to be a year in which so many people have faced exceptional challenges, I am delighted for the Cartier Racing Awards to be broadcast on Sky Sports Racing allowing the racing public to join us in watching the presentation this year. It is an honour to celebrate the very best of horseracing, especially this year as we honour the 30th anniversary of the Cartier Racing Awards. My heartfelt congratulations go out to this exceptional year’s winners.

“I would like to thank our long-standing media partners, the Racing Post and Daily Telegraph. A special thanks to Sky Sports Racing, with their assistance, we have produced a programme to be proud of, and I encourage everyone to tune in at 8.30pm tonight.”