ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Frankel ridden by Tom Queally wins The St James’s Palace Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot racecourse on June 14, 2011 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Last night in London, Frankel (GB) was named Europe's 2011 Horse of the Year at the annual Cartier Awards. Frankel, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, is a perfect nine for nine in his career, including wins in this year's 2000 Guineas (video below), St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. He won his five races in 2011 by a combined 19 3/4 lengths and wasn't legitimately challenged in any of those contests.
Frankel will return to the track in 2012 when Cecil hopes to stretch him beyond a mile for the first time in his career. Cecil is targeting the ten furlong Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown for his first try at a longer trip. Based on what we saw from Frankel at the end of the season, a couple extra furlongs appear to be within his ability.
The Cartier Awards are determined by points earned in group races throughout the year, along with votes cast by racing journalists in Great Britain and readers of the Racing Post and the Daily Telegraph.
|Horse of the Year||Frankel (GB)|
|Older Horse||Cirrus Des Aigles (FR)|
|3YO Colt||Frankel (GB)|
|3YO Filly||Danedream (GER)|
|2YO Colt||Dabirsim (FR)|
|2YO Filly||Maybe (IRE)|
|Stayer||Fame And Glory (GB)
Dream Ahead, the champion sprinter of 2011, is the first American-bred horse to win a Cartier Award since Rainbow View was named the top two-year-old filly in 2008. Bred by Darley, Dream Ahead is a three-year-old son of Dikat out of the Cadeaux Genereux mare Land of Dreams. He finished well behind Frankel in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, but rebounded to win three Group 1s over the course of the rest of the year, including a head-bob win over Goldikova (IRE) in the Prix de la Foret on Arc day.