Roaring Lion crowned Cartier Horse Of The Year on golden night for Gosden

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Tue 13 Nov 2018

Multiple Group One winner Roaring Lion was revealed as Cartier Horse Of The Year late on Tuesday night at an awards ceremony in London dominated by John Gosden-trained stars.

Roaring Lion’s successive wins in the Coral-Eclipse, Juddmonte International, QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – not to mention a smooth success in the Dante Stakes and a close third behind Masar in the Derby – earned him the accolade.

He got him the nod over stablemates Enable, Stradivarius and Cracksman, plus the Jessica Harrington-trained Alpha Centauri.

Owned by Qatar Racing Limited, Roaring Lion becomes the fourth Cartier Horse Of The Year in the past five years to be trained by Gosden, following on from Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015) and Enable (2017).

Enable, the Horse Of The Year in 2017, narrowly lost out on becoming the third horse - following on from Frankel (2011 and 2012) and Ouija Board (2004 and 2006) – to twice win the award.

But the brilliant filly did take the prize for Older Horse in 2018. The Khalid Abdullah-owned and bred four-year-old was on the sidelines for much of the year, but she made a stunning winning reappearance in the September Stakes at Kempton before becoming the eighth horse to win Europe's premier all-aged middle-distance contest, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, twice.

She created more history as the first horse ever to follow up success in the Longchamp feature with victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.

The other Older Horse nominees were Cracksman, Poet's Word and Lightning Spear.

Roaring Lion also gained the Three-Year-Old Colt Award, at the expense of Saxon Warrior, Masar and Sands Of Mali.

Gosden enjoyed further success with Stradivarius, who took the Stayer Award. Owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen, the four-year-old Sea The Stars colt went through the year unbeaten, with his five victories including the Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup.

He was also successful in the Yorkshire Cup, Lonsdale Cup QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup. Stradivarius' tremendous season saw him land the inaugural WH Stayers' Million, handing a £1-million bonus to connections.

_Arc winner Enable was named Top Older Horse _

A record-equalling fifth equine win on the night for Gosden came courtesy of Too Darn Hot, who bagged the Two-Year-Old Colt Award.

Lord Lloyd-Webber's homebred son of Dubawi is unbeaten in four outings, ending the campaign with a decisive success in Britain's premier juvenile contest, the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October.

The only other trainer to achieve five equine Cartier Racing Awards in a year has been Aidan O'Brien in 2016, when Churchill, Minding, Order Of St George and Found mopped up for him.

Gosden did not quite have everything all his own way.

Alpha Centauri won the Three-Year-Old Filly Award, while Mabs Cross was named top Sprinter. And Skitter Skatter landed the gong for Two-Year-Old Filly.

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