All the Quotes from the Silver Anniversary of the Cartier Racing Awards

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TwinSpires Staff

November 11th, 2015

Edited Press Release

The 25th annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing's equivalent of the Oscars, were presented before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England on the evening of Tuesday, November 10, 2015.

Golden Horn, owned and bred by Anthony Oppenheimer, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, was named Cartier Horse of the Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt following a fabulous season that saw him win the Investec Derby, Coral-Eclipse, QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

On accepting the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award, Oppenheimer said: "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. First of all, thank you to Cartier, the Daily Telegraph, Channel 4 and the voters for this award. It gives me great pleasure to receive it from my good friend Arnaud Bamberger.

"I understand this is the 25th anniversary of the Cartier Awards. Only last year, I sat listening to the representatives of the winners and wondering whether I would receive an award. Like a miracle, I find myself here today. I believe these awards are important to the horseracing industry and I make a special plea to Cartier and the Daily Telegraph that if they ever think of cancelling them - please don't! They are so valuable to us all.

"I would like to thank Golden Horn's team. Firstly, John Gosden - without him and his natural brilliance there would be no Golden Horn. Then Frankie Dettori, his brilliant riding has shown this horse to be as exceptional as both John and I believed.

"Finally, in John's stable we must not forget Golden Horn's constant handler Mick Curran and his travelling head lad. Both of them have looked after Golden Horn in a special way.

"There are a lot of unsung heroes in the racing and stud business, many who work weekends and long hours. Along with my own staff, I'd like to thank them because I know how hard they work. Thank you for this wonderful award."

Later in the evening, when presented with the Cartier Horse of the Year Award, Oppenheimer paid tribute to his family.

Oppenheimer said: "Well, thank you again for another wonderful award.

"I would like to thank my wife Antoinette and forgive me for getting a bit emotional but she supported me all the way in this exciting and stressful adventure. I would also like to thank my daughters Sophie, Emily and Arabella. They and the rest of the family have now become enthusiastic about horses and, perhaps unfortunately, betting. I have two daughters here tonight, but sadly Sophie is away working in America.

"It took a long time to decide what was going to be the most suitable stud for Golden Horn, because the choices were difficult. But I think in the end, in going to Darley, he is going to one of the greatest studs in the world and will be very well looked after there.

"I really can't tell you how much I have appreciated the support from my family. Most of my grandchildren have seen every single race and they are absolutely awestruck. Thank you very much."

Arnaud Bamberger (left) with Anthony Oppenheimer

From left to right: John Gosden, the Oppenheimer family, Arnaud Bamberger, Anthony Oppenheimer and Frankie Dettori

Earlier in the evening, both awards for juveniles went to horses owned by Coolmore partnerships and trained by Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle in Ireland. Triple Group One winner Air Force Blue was named Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt with Minding, a dual Group One winner, was the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.

Accepting the award for Air Force Blue, M V Magnier said: "On behalf of mum and dad, the Smith family, the Tabor family and of course all of the guys at Ballydoyle including Aidan and Joseph, I'd like to thank Cartier first of all for sponsoring this event for the last 25 years.

"The Cartier Awards are a big thing for the industry and it is brilliant what Cartier have done. The awards mean a lot to everyone in the industry.

"I'd also like to thank Arthur Hancock who told us we had to buy this horse in Keeneland. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have him. We are very lucky we do have him. Thank you."

M V Magnier (left) & Arnaud Bamberger

Paul Smith, who accepted Minding's award, was also keen to pay tribute to 11-time champion Pat Eddery, who died on the morning of the awards.

Smith declared: "Arnaud, Cartier, Channel 4 Racing and the Daily Telegraph - thank you very much for hosting a fabulous evening.

"I would just like to start by mentioning Pat Eddery. My introduction to racing was back in 1975 when I was nine years old. My father and Mike Dillon took me to Ascot to see the King George, where Pat rode an incredible race on Grundy to beat Bustino. He was a hero that day and, to me, he has been a hero ever since. He is a great loss.

"This two-year-old filly division was a very tough division with some fabulous fillies in the mix. Minding, by Galileo out of Lillie Langtry, was home-bred which makes this award extra special.

"I would like to thank Paul Shanahan, M V Magnier and all the team at Coolmore. I'd like to thank Aidan and Joseph O'Brien, Seamie Heffernan, Colm O'Donoghue and all the team at Ballydoyle for getting this exceptional filly to the track. Thank you very much and enjoy your evening."

Paul Smith (left) & Arnaud Bamberger

The Coolmore team were also among the winners later in the evening, with the David Wachman-trained Legatissimo taking the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly award. A superb 2015 saw Legatissimo compete six times consecutively in Group One races, winning three times and finishing second in the other three.

M V Magnier remarked: "It is a great privilege to be up here again. I would like to thank Cartier again and would also like to thank the Racing Post, Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 for their support of the event.

"I would also like to thank Newsells Park Stud and Andreas Jacobs for all their support - without them we wouldn't have her (Legatissimo).

"Obviously, I must also thank David and Kate (Wachman) and all their team. It's been a fantastic year and we look forward to having her again next year."

M V Magnier

Muhaarar was a four-time Group One winner in 2015 and the three-year-old colt, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, was named Cartier Sprinter.

Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, commented: "My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, for those of you who had to suffer this last year I promise to keep it a lot shorter.

"I know it has been said before but I can't emphasise enough how lucky we are to have the support of Cartier and Arnaud for all these years. It is a truly remarkable night that we can come here and pay homage to all these great horses and the people who do some much work with them. It is entirely thanks to the support Arnaud, Harry and all the Cartier team, so enormous thanks to them.

"On behalf of Sheikh Hamdan, I would like to thank everyone who put in so much hard work for me to be able to stand here tonight to receive this award. Firstly, all the unsung heroes and heroines at Derrinstown and Shadwell studs who bred this horse - it is wonderful for them to be rewarded with an absolute champion.

"Thanks also go to Charles Hills and all his team in Lambourn. They are a great team, led by Kevin Mooney. They did a brilliant job as the horse had a hard time in the summer and they got him back to put up his best performance on his last start. It was a fabulous effort and well done to them.

"A special mention must also go to Muhaarar's lad Cliff Booth who looked after him. The reason why this is rather special for those of you of a certain generation is that Cliff also looked after and led up Foinavon when he won the Grand National. It was great he had such a good horse to look after later in his career.

"If I may just make a special mention of one man who sadly can't be with us tonight and would love to be, Barry Hills. As many of you will know, Barry has had a tough time lately and is continuing to battle. I know how much pleasure he has got out of this horse during the year and watching how Charles' team have done the right thing. As Barry said to me earlier in the season - 'even you lot can't make a mess of this horse'! Even so, for once, we didn't. We are thrilled to have Penny (Hills) here tonight. None of you will be surprised to hear that Penny has been a tower of strength to Barry for the last few weeks and will continue to be so, Penny, please give our best and tell him we all wish him a full and speedy recovery - all we want is to have him back at the beginning of April next year to tell us quite what an eff up of the whole thing we are making!

"I would like to thank Paul Hanagan who rode the horse so beautifully. I say that, he did spend most of the year getting off the horse! I don't blame Paul at all for that as none of us knew quite what a star we on had on our hands earlier in the year. I think it was only after he won the Commonwealth Cup that all of us at Stevie Wonder bloodstock realised what a horse we had! I must also mention that Lanfranco Dettori and Dane O'Neill both rode the horse to victory and of course Dane won on him at Ascot and as I say, even I realised he was good horse after that. Thanks to both of them.

"Finally, just to pay tribute to the horse himself, in my experience you don't often get top-class sprinters and to show that class and that consistency at that level was a huge thrill to all of us. I'm sorry we won't have Muhaarar on the tracks next year but equally it's a great thrill for us to have to look forward to in his next career.

"On behalf of Sheikh Hamdan, just to thank again Cartier and all the team, the Racing Post and the Daily Telegraph for this wonderful award. Thank you."

Angus Gold (left) & Arnaud Bamberger

Qatar Racing's Simple Verse collected the Cartier Stayer prize. Trained by Ralph Beckett, she was the first filly to win the final Classic of the season, the Ladbrokes St Leger, since 1992. It was a very close call between Simple Verse and Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris, with public support for the former deciding the result.

David Redvers, racing and bloodstock advisor to Qatar Racing, said "My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel slightly embarrassed. I thought we were up for the fillies' award and had resigned myself to the fact we hadn't won it, especially as I was privileged to have A P McCoy on one side of me who was very quick to tell me we hadn't won the last award.

"The worst thing you can ever do at a public function like this is to follow Angus Gold or possibly the second worst thing after following Harry Herbert (Cartier's Racing Consultant who introduces the Awards).

"It is absolutely joyous moment for Sheikh Fahad and for all the team at Qatar Racing to be in this position. Who would have thought that a filly who broke her maiden on the All-Weather in February and got beat off a mark of 77 in April would end up taking this Award.

"The only thing I can say is it is a true testament to a trainer who is a completely miserable git, housemate from hell and someone I have grown up with. I am very fortunate to be his daughter's godfather and have huge amounts of sympathy for his wife. He is one hell of a bloody trainer.

"I know he will say 'what about the colts?' and give me all sorts of stick. But the fact is that there can be very few peers for a man who has trained two Oaks winners in recent years and took Simple Verse from the All-Weather to a Classic winner and win this prestigious award.

"I feel very, very honoured and humbled to receive a trophy from Arnaud in the year he retires. I have sat here for the last five years thinking one day Sheikh Fahad will win one of these awards. This is a joy."

David Redvers (left) & Arnaud Bamberger

Solow, a five-time Group One winner in an unbeaten 2015, was namedCartier Older Horse. The five-year-old grey scooped top prizes in Dubai, France and England for owners the Wertheimer brothers and trainer Freddy Head.

Olivia Wertheimer Le Tonquese, daughter of one of the owners, Gerard Wertheimer, said: "Good evening everyone. I've never done a public speech before so it's a bit of a concern! On behalf of my father, uncles and everyone at Wertheimer Et Frere, I would like to thank you all for this award.

"What a fantastic year it has been for Solow in winning five Group One races, especially three in England. Let us hope next year will be just as successful.

"Thank you very much Cartier for this wonderful award and for such a wonderful event."

Freddy Head added: "It is a great privilege for me to be here with you tonight.

"It is also a great privilege to train a horse like Solow. You can imagine with what he has done this year, he is one of the best milers we have seen.

"I want to thank all my team for doing what they do with my horses and Maxime Guyon who rode the horse so well.

"I also want to thank Arnaud Bamberger, Cartier and Harry for staging such a wonderful evening as well as the people who voted for him."

From left to right: Olivia Wertheimer Le Tonquese, Arnaud Bamberger & Freddy Head

The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit, decided by Cartier's 16-strong jury, went to Jack Berry MBE. The 78-year-old has spent a lifetime in racing as a jockey and trainer as well as a tireless fundraiser and campaigner for injured jockeys. This year saw the culmination of his fundraising activities with the opening of the new £3.1-million Jack Berry House in Malton, Yorkshire, which offers top-quality facilities for jockeys recovering from injury in the north of England.

Jack Berry said: "My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen, I must thank you very much for this.

"All the people who have already been up to collect awards for horses were half-prepared for it but I can assure you I wasn't so my speech won't be anything as like as good as theirs.

"I must thank appreciate and thank all of you who have contributed to raise the £3.1 million we did to build this horse. It is a great tribute to you all.

"In fact, I know they call it Jack Berry House. I know you couldn't get anything better than that and I appreciate that but I honestly do believe, hand on heart, that we should call it Our House because you've all raised the house and I appreciate that. Thank you all for it.

"It wouldn't be so without our (Injured Jockeys Fund) chief executive Lisa Hancock. Throughout these past two years, she has been up at least every fortnight to work with the builders and architects to make it possible.

"I thank Lisa, all of you and Cartier for this beautiful prize. I can assure you it will never end up in any car boot sale!"

Jack Berry (left) & Marcus Armytage of The Daily Telegraph

The 2015 Cartier Racing Awards were the last to be hosted by Arnaud Bamberger, who retires this year having hosted every ceremony since the awards were established in 1991.  He was presented with a painting of the brilliant Frankel, who collected a record five Cartier Racing Awards behind 2010 and 2012, by Steve Harman, Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority.

Arnaud Bamberger said: "That was not in the script! I am very touched and it meant a lot tonight for me. Thank you.

"First of all I would like to say it meant a lot to me tonight to give the Cartier Horse of the Year trophy to Anthony Oppenheimer. He and his family have been friends for many years and it is always very special to reward friends.

"I remember when I first met Robert Sangster. I was friends with him before I met his sons Guy and Ben and other members of the family. I always wanted to give him an award but unluckily I was never able to.

"I then became friends with Lord and Lady Derby and was able to give them several awards which was very pleasing.

"Tonight, was a pinnacle for me to give these awards to Anthony.

"I just want to say I am overwhelmed by everyone's presence here tonight, your friendship and your smiles.  I hope you had a good time as that is what it is all about.

"Horseracing is a wonderful industry with wonderful people. I am very glad I was able to promote this sport with Cartier - I think we did well together. I hope we do well together for a long time more."

Photos courtesy of Cartier/Racenews 


Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt: Air Force Blue

Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly: Minding

Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt: Golden Horn

Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly: Legatissimo

Cartier Sprinter: Muhaarar

Cartier Stayer: Simple Verse

Cartier Older Horse: Solow

Cartier Horse of the Year: Golden Horn owned by Anthony Oppenheimer

Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit: Jack Berry