Goldikova was last night named 2010 Cartier Horse Of The Year and also took the Cartier Older Horse Award at the ceremony in the ballroom of London’s Dorchester Hotel attended by an invited audience of 350, including some of the biggest names in racing plus some owners better-known outside the sport such as Liz Hurley, Lord Lloyd-Webber and actor Nat Parker.
The five-year-old's joint owner-breeder Gerard Wertheimer told guests at the 20th Cartier Racing Awards that he hoped the record-breaking mare could return in 12 months’ time to land another accolade at the glittering event.
The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to recognise the achievements of racehorses in Europe. The highly-coveted horse awards were determined by points earned in Pattern races during 2010, combined with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists headed by Brough Scott, plus votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph, a system that over the years has accurately rewarded supreme excellence.
Goldikova, owned and bred by Wertheimer and his brother Alain, also won the Cartier Older Horse Award last year (she is the first horse to win this Cartier award twice) and she stays in training with Freddy Head in 2011, a year that marks a significant anniversary for her connections.
“In 2011, we celebrate 100 years of my family’s stud, which was created by my grandfather Pierre in 1911. We are immensely proud that we have been able to maintain this passion for breeding and racing for three generations.
“Some great champions have emerged. The principal winners in Great Britain have been Lavandin, winner of the Derby in 1956, Green Dancer, Gold Splash and Pas De Reponse.
“Of course I can’t forget my grandfather’s first great horse Epinard, who won the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood in 1923 and is surely giving a nod and a wink to Goldikova, who is seven generations on from him.
“Last but not least, I would like to than Cartier and their Executive Chairman, Mr Arnaud Bamberger, for the promotion of the Cartier Racing Awards which are always such a big incentive in the racing world. On behalf of Goldikova and the whole team, thank you for this wonderful award. I hope to see you all again in 2011!”
Newly-crowned champion trainer Richard Hannon was the recipient of the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit and, although he could not make the awards’ dinner having recently undergone heart bypass surgery, his son Richard junior and wife Jo were on hand to collect the Award.
A film was shown paying tribute to Hannon and among those to pass on their congratulations was his best-known owner, Her Majesty The Queen, via her bloodstock advisor John Warren.
“When I told the Queen that you had received the Cartier Award of Merit, she was absolutely delighted and asked me to send you many, many congratulations,” Warren told Hannon. “She once said to me that you brighten up her day and I’m sure that applies to everyone you train for.”
An emotional Hannon junior added: “My family are all extremely proud of dad. On a bright note, it has to be his health. He is in great form and is recovering well from his operation. You all know he wouldn’t miss this for the world. Everything reported on the film, is exactly the man he is.
“He’s given me one quote to give to you - tell Harry (Herbert) that the doctor tells me that after this operation I’ll be 20 years younger, recover and come back as good as gold. In the New Year, you’ll see me racing and you’ll be referring to me as (Richard) junior!”
Others collecting awards included Prince Khalid Abdulla’s racing manager Lord Grimthorpe, who picked up Frankel’s prize for Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and Workforce’s trophy for Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt.
The Henry Cecil-trained Frankel is named after Bobby Frankel, who died a year ago after training many of Abdulla’s best American performers and Grimthorpe commented: “It’s a really special award for what we hope will become a really special horse. It’s no coincidence that Prince Khalid’s absolutely prized two-year-old was sent to an outstanding practitioner and named in honour of another outstanding practitioner. We are lucky to have him.”
The evening was compered as usual by Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, with the awards presented by Arnaud Bamberger, the Executive Chairman of Cartier UK.
Herbert, in introducing the awards, said: “I know I speak on behalf of everybody in this room when I say how much Cartier's sponsorship means to our industry - 20 years is a very long time for a company to support any sport and there will be few within racing who have done so for so long and especially at this unbelievably significant level.
"You have created something Arnaud that really is the envy of other racing nations and we hope your generosity will continue for many years to come.”
Bamberger commented: “I am so very happy and proud as we celebrate the 20th presentation of these most prestigious awards.
“I simply cannot believe it was 20 years ago that the late Wing Commander Tim Vigors came and talked to Pilar Boxford who helped set up so many wonderful things for Cartier.
“He had the idea of creating an award that everyone in racing would aspire to win. It goes without saying therefore that all of us here are enormously grateful to Tim. I am sorry that Diana, his wife, was not able to come tonight because she was sick.
“The past 20 years, I have met so many new friends from within the world of racing and I have learnt to appreciate what an intoxicating and thrilling sport it is.
“Not only have we honoured over 150 champions within the various divisions but also through the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit, we have honoured 20 very special people who during their lives have made such a remarkable contribution to racing.
“For me personally, one of the greatest highlights was in the year 2000 when I presented Her Majesty The Queen with a special millennium award in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
“I would like to say a big thank you to The Daily Telegraph and especially to a man who is here tonight, Jeremy Deedes, who was then the managing director.
“My thanks also go to the Racing Post and all of their team whose help over the years has given our awards the profile that they so richly deserve within the industry itself.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Harry for all you have done to help us since you started - you have guided us so well and your enthusiasm has been truly infectious especially during these recent difficult economic years. You have also provided so much humour to our evenings despite your extremely poor impersonation of me.
“All of you here tonight are involved with the sport which is truly magical, a sport that has glamour and excitement - in short everything that is Cartier.
“Thank you so much for coming tonight and here is to the next 20 years.”
Herbert and Bamberger gave each other surprise awards.