November 13, 2017updated 14 Nov 2017 9:15am

Cartier Racing Awards: lavish London event to crown European horse racing’s Horse of the Year

By Luke Christou

As 2017 approaches its end, the European horse racing community will gather at London’s Dorchester Hotel this week in the hopes of picking up one of the sport’s biggest prizes.

The 27th annual Cartier Racing Awards will see prizes such as the Top Older Horse, Top Stayer, Top Sprinter handed out based on performances throughout the year.

Billed as the Oscars of European horse racing, this awards ceremony is a grand spectacle in the horse racing calendar. Harry Herbert, the Racing Consultant of event sponsors Cartier, had this to say:

“The nominees for the 27th Cartier Racing Awards are some of the best racehorses in the world. The revealing of the eight equine Cartier Racing Awards is eagerly awaited.”

To win any of the eight awards up for grabs is a huge achievement. However, it’s the prestigious Horse of the Year award that the owners and trainers in attendance will really want to get their hands on. If the Cartier Racing Awards is the Oscars, Horse of the Year is Best Picture.

The winner of each category will be announced at a special ceremony on the evening of Tuesday, 14 November. The glitzy event will be attended by more than 300 horse owners, trainers and jockeys.

cartier racing awards - verdict

In order to come away with an award, horses needed to impress on race days and catch the attention of race fans. Awards are handed out based on a points system in which points are earned in pattern races (30 percent), journalist votes (35 percent) and fans votes (35 percent).

Minding was crowned Horse of the Year in 2016 after winning the 1000 Guineas Stakes, Oaks Stakes, Pretty Polly Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but who could win it this year?

Cartier Racing Awards Horse of the Year nominees

Ahead of the ceremony, the organisers revealed that these four nominated horses are still in the running for the award:


After impressing in his debut race last year, Cracksman has come on in leaps and bounds in 2017. Cracksman is ridden by celebrity jockey Frankie Dettori, but the British thoroughbred is quickly making a name for himself without his star rider. Having won four of his six races this year, Cracksman is among the favourites for the award.


Enable is another horse ridden by famed rider Frankie Dettori. Since the Italian took hold of the reins in May, this British racehorse has dominated in middle distance races. Enable has raced seven times this year and has won six times, making him this year’s most decorated nominee. He leads on race points, with 208 points to Ribchester’s 166, but judge and fan votes could still see him miss out.


Four-year-old Ribchester is a veteran among the Horse of the Year nominees. However, the Irish-bred racehorse has proved that he can hold his own against younger opposition. This Irish-bred racehorse has gone from strength to strength following his first win at the Mill Reef Stakes in 2015, winning two more races in 2016. This year has been his best year yet, with three victories from seven races.


Another Irish-bred, British-trained racehorse, Ulysses has taken his time to really blossom into a race-winning horse. His first year produced no wins and 2016 just one at the Gordon Stakes. However, he has come good in 2017, winning three of seven. Ulysses will now retire to begin a new career as a breeding stallion. The Horse of the Year award would be the perfect parting gift.

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