Golden Horn has been named the Cartier Horse of the Year at the 25th annual awards, following an outstanding three-year-old campaign.
Owned and bred by Anthony Oppenheimer, the John Gosden-trained Golden Horn was an outstanding performer throughout 2015. Partnered by the revitalised Frankie Dettori, the Cape Cross colt gained four Group One wins – the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park, the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and, perhaps his greatest victory of all, in Europe's richest race, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
His final start came in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland in the US, on October 31st, when he went down by half a length to Found. However, that defeat took nothing away from a tremendous season and he retires to Dalham Hall Stud with only US Triple Crown hero and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner American Pharaoh rated higher anywhere in the world.
Golden Horn saw off competition from Solow, Muhaarar and Legatissimo to be Horse of the Year, while he also takes the Three-Year-Old Colt Award ahead of Muhaarar, Gleneagles and Jack Hobbs.
Solow gains compensation by becoming the Older Horse Award winner. The remarkable five-year-old grey gelding was a revelation when dropped in distance in 2015, with an unbeaten campaign yielding five Group One victories in England (three times), France and Dubai.
There is also just reward for Muhaarar, who takes the Sprinter Award. The three-year-old, trained by Charlie Hills for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, began the season as a potential Guineas candidate but, after finishing eighth in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, he proved an outstanding sprinter when dropped in distance.
Legatissimo’s tremendous efforts throughout 2015 have resulted in her gaining the Three-Year-Old Filly Award. A supremely tough and talented performer, the filly ran in six Group One races this year, winning three and finishing second in the other three, losing out by a short-head in two of them.
Trained by David Wachman for a Coolmore syndicate, her victories came in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, followed by the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
Both awards for juveniles go to horses trained by Aidan O’Brien for Coolmore partnerships.
Two-Year-Old Colt honours go to Air Force Blue, who secured three Group One victorie, which make him a red-hot favourite for Classic honours in 2016. Dual Group One winner Minding is the winner of the Two-Year-Old Filly award.