Thursday, February 04, 2010



Hong Kong-based owner Christopher Tsui flew into London to accept the Cartier Horse Of The Year Award last night (November 17th 2009) for his champion Sea The Stars.

Tsui was one of 200 invited guests at yesterday evening’s (Tuesday, November 17) 2009 Cartier Racing Awards at Claridge’s Hotel in London and he also collected the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award for his six-time Group One winner.

Tsui dedicated the award to his mother Ling, who bred Sea The Stars out of the family’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea. The mare died earlier this year after having her final foal.

“This award belongs to somebody else and I am collecting it on her behalf,” said Tsui. “This person is my mother Ling. It was her love and faith for Urban Sea, her relentless passion and dedication to breed from her and her understanding of the thoroughbred that made it all possible.

“Fifteen years ago she was alone in thinking that Urban Sea would become the best broodmare in the world. Today I think it would be fairly difficult to disagree with her. And I am so proud of what she has achieved. Against all odds with only one mare, she was able to make dreams come true.”

Meanwhile, Sea The Stars’ trainer John Oxx was taken by surprise when joining a distinguished list of past recipients of the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit. “It’s hard to know what to say when you’ve been so badly caught out!,” said Oxx. The announcement of this award was greeted by a standing ovation.

Sir Anthony Bamford, accompanied by his daughter Alice, collected the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award on behalf of his wife Carole’s Sariska, while Gerard Wertheimer picked up Goldikova’s Cartier Older Horse Award.

Yeats won the Cartier Stayer Award for an unprecedented fourth time and J P Magnier, representing his parents John and Sue, along with Lucy and Johnny Nagle, on behalf of their parents David and Diane, came forward for the trophy.

Fleeting Spirit won the Cartier Sprinter Award and three members of The Searchers, her ownership partnership, were on hand to collect the trophy. They were British Horseracing Authority chairman Paul Roy, Andy Stewart and Trevor Harris.

St Nicholas Abbey gained the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award with Paul Smith, whose father Derrick part-owns the juvenile, picking up this prize. Prince Khalid Abdulla’s racing manager Lord Grimthorpe collected Special Duty’s Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award.

There was a tremendous atmosphere at the 19th Cartier Racing Awards which are the Oscars of European horseracing. The evening was hosted by Cartier’s racing consultant, Harry Herbert, and the awards were presented by Arnaud Bamberger, managing director of Cartier UK.

The highly-coveted horse awards were determined by points earned in Pattern races 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 which over the years has accurately rewarded supreme excellence.

The full acceptance speeches are below:

Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt


3 b c Cape Cross (IRE) - Urban Sea (USA) (Miswaki (USA))

Owner: Christopher Tsui Trainer: John Oxx IRE Breeder: Sunderland Holdings

Christopher Tsui, accepting Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award: “I am deeply honoured to be accepting this magnificent award on behalf of Sea The Stars. I’d like to thank Cartier for this award and for a wonderful evening here in London. There are so many people I’d like to thank but I will try and keep it brief. First of all to John and Caitriona Oxx, their family and everyone at the stable. They are the most professional and talented people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They have taken wonderful care of Sea The Stars and trained him to become the perfect athlete. What they have achieved will be remembered forever and I am extremely grateful for all that they have done. Thank you to Michael Kinane for his masterful rides on this horse. He is truly a master of his trade and there is not a lot more I can say that hasn’t been said already. I have always been one of his biggest fans. I would like to thank my friends John and Monica Clarke, Jean Lesbordes, Charles de Bavier and his family who have always been there for my family and I. To my family - my father David and sister Christine - thank you for being so supportive throughout this adventure. But I would like to say that this award belongs to somebody else and I am accepting it on her behalf. This person is my mother Ling. It was her love and faith for Urban Sea, her relentless passion and dedication to breed from her and her understanding of the thoroughbred that made it all possible. Fifteen years ago she was alone in thinking that Urban Sea would become the best broodmare in the world. Today I think it would be fairly difficult to disagree with her. And I am so proud of what she has achieved. Against all odds with only one mare, she was able to make dreams come true. Sadly Urban Sea left us earlier this year and she will be greatly missed. I hope that Sea The Stars will carry on her legacy with pride. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank his Highness the Aga Khan for letting Sea The Stars stand at Gilltown. My family and I are most grateful. Sea The Stars is enjoying his beautiful new home and we hope that he will be as successful as a stallion as he was as a racehorse.”

Christopher Tsui, accepting Horse Of The Year Award: “This is fantastic. Thank you again to Cartier for this beautiful, beautiful award. After Urban Sea won the Arc in 1993 my mother took her to Ireland looking for the best stallions in Europe. She went there by herself with one mare not knowing anybody there and she said that Urban Sea would produce a great champion. I could have told her that Urban Sea didn’t have the pedigree or the looks to be a champion but my mother always replied the same way - that Urban Sea was beautiful and would create her own pedigree. Urban Sea did more than that and she leaves behind a great legacy. Sea The Stars was born out of my mother’s love and belief in her. I truly believe that Sea The Stars was on a mission this year to honour his mother and winning the Arc was a great achievement for her and completed a circle that started 16 years ago. Sea The Stars is the product of two very special ladies and 2009 will stay in my memory as the best year of my life.”

Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit 2009


John Oxx: “I’d like to thank Cartier and the Daily Telegraph for this surprise. It’s hard to know what to say when you’ve been so badly caught out! As things unfolded I began to think in a hurry to think what I might say. I’d just like to thank everyone responsible and we’ll have to hold an internal enquiry especially into where those photographs appeared from! I think every time someone stands up for an award like this, you are standing on behalf of other people and I’ve had a lucky life and a fortunate career. I’ve got some good people behind me, I have some great clients, some of whom were speaking earlier, and of course I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Sea The Stars and the Tsui family and it’s an honour that they sent such a great horse to me. That’s basically why I’m here. I’ve had great owners over the years and special thanks to my wife (Caitriona), a lot of people don’t know her but she’s always there and gives good advice to a wide circle of people in a radius around our home. She is an unsung hero of my life. The old saying in Ireland is that it’s not what you know but who you know. It’s nice for me to stand in the spotlight and take the credit but it’s other people who do the work. It’s a good trick if you can get away with it!”

Cartier Champion Two-Year-Old Filly


2 ch f Hennessy (USA) - Quest To Peak (USA) (Distant View (USA))

Owner: Khalid Abdulla Trainer: Criquette Head-Maarek FR Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Ltd

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdulla: “Prince Khalid would like to thank Cartier, the Daily Telegraph and particularly Arnaud (Bamberger) for his tremendous support of racing. It is unprecedented and racing needs Cartier and hopefully Cartier needs racing. Special Duty is a real product of Juddmonte in that her mother was trained by the late, great Bobby Frankel. Her mother was born in Kentucky, where Special Duty was conceived, she was foaled in England, broken in Ireland and shipped to France to be trained wonderfully by Criquette Head-Maarek, who deserves a huge amount of praise and congratulations for the way she has handled this filly and we hope she will continue next year the same. Thank you to Stephane (Pasquier) and all the team back at Chantilly, it is really very exciting.”

Cartier Champion Two-Year-Old Colt


2 b c Montjeu (IRE) - Leaping Water (Sure Blade (USA))

Owner: Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Trainer: Aidan O’Brien IRE

Breeder: Barton Bloodstock & Villiers Syndicate

Paul Smith: “On behalf of my father Derrick Smith, John Magnier and Michael Tabor, I would like to congratulate Cartier for hosting such a fabulous event. They have done an exceptional job in showcasing the industry we all love so much. Aidan O’Brien, Johnny Murtagh and Sam Curling, who rides this horse at home, have done a phenomenal job with him along with all the team at Ballydoyle. It was apparent from very early on that St Nicholas Abbey had everything that a top two-year-old should have. He has a great temperament, he travels and Johnny can do anything he wants with him and he quickens. That was evident in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes and of course the Racing Post Trophy. If he winters well and has that little bit of luck that we all need, he has a chance to emulate and possibly surpass some of the great horses that have won this prestigious award. We all look forward to next spring in great anticipation.”

Cartier Champion Three-Year-Old Filly


3 b f Pivotal - Maycocks Bay (Muhtarram (USA))

Owner/Breeder: Lady Bamford Trainer: Michael Bell

Sir Anthony Bamford, husband of owner/breeder Lady Bamford: “First of all I’d like to apologise on behalf of my wife for her not being here this evening. I know she would have been very, very thrilled to receive this award. Also thank you to Cartier and I’m very glad you didn’t close this award down and the choice was the garden party instead! I’m probably the least horsey person here in this room. I know a lot about diggers but absolutely nothing about horses! What this horse has done this year has united our family enormously. The Sun used to be the first paper I’d read in the morning and now it’s the Racing Post, although it’s still double dutch to me. The name Sariska comes from a place in India where my daughter Alice was filming two years ago. She was co-producer of a film called The Darjeeling Limited and part of it was made at Sariska in Rajasthan. We’ve been very well blessed and Carole has asked me to particularly thank Hugo Lascelles, our racing manager, Michael Bell, Jamie Spencer and Charlie at Daylesford Stud. We’ve had a very happy team and all of us have loved being involved. You all know this but luck does play a part and we’re so thrilled to have done so well this year. Sariska is now at home with us at the moment. She hasn’t yet been in the kitchen, which the ponies used to do, but perhaps next year!”

Cartier Champion Older Horse


4 b f Anabaa (USA) - Born Gold (USA) (Blushing Groom (FR))

Owner/Breeder: Wertheimer et Frere Trainer: Freddie Head FR

Gerard Wertheimer, owner/breeder with his brother Alain: “It is an honour for me to be standing here accepting this award on behalf of my brother and myself and of course Goldikova. My special thanks to Cartier and all those who voted for her. This has indeed been an exceptional year with the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, the Prix Rothschild, the Prix Jacques Le Marois in France and the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita for the second year running. I think these successes have proved without a doubt that she is truly of international class. We could run her in her fourth year because we are first and foremost breeders and owners and our biggest satisfaction is to see horses racing and winning. Goldikova has proved to us that we made the right decision. We are simply carrying on a tradition that was begun by my grandfather (Pierre), who started his stud in 1911 and was more than successful in the 1920s with Epinard and again in 1956 with Lavandin, who won the English Derby. We are very proud of the fact that in 2011 our colours will be celebrating their 100th anniversary. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Freddie Head, who has been a very talented and exceptional leader during this adventure and all the team involved with the horse. Finally, thank you again Cartier for such a magnificent award.”

Cartier Champion Stayer


8 b h Sadler’s Wells (USA) - Lydonville (IRE) (Top Ville)

Owner: Sue Magnier & Diane Nagle Trainer: Aidan O’Brien IRE

Breeder: Barronstown Stud & Orpendale

J P Magnier, son of owners John and Sue Magnier: “On behalf of my parents and David and Diane Nagle, I’d firstly like to thank Cartier and the Daily Telegraph and the Racing Post for sponsoring this award, it’s very generous. David Nagle is very sorry that he’s come down with swine flu over the last two days and can’t make it tonight but I can guarantee that if you go to the broodmare sale at Goffs at the weekend he’ll be there selling nominations! I’d like to thank Aidan and all the team at Ballydoyle for managing to keep the horse sound for so many years and winning seven Group Ones, including the Coronation Cup and of course four Ascot Gold Cups. Our livers will be able to have a break next year, which is a sigh of relief! I’d also like to thank all the jockeys who have ridden him - Mick (Kinane), Seamie (Heffernan), Kieren (Fallon), Jamie (Spencer) and of course Johnny (Murtagh), they’ve all done a wonderful job.”

Cartier Champion Sprinter


4 b f Invincible Spirit (IRE) - Millennium Tale (FR) (Distant Relative)

Owner: The Searchers Trainer: Jeremy Noseda Breeder: Bernadette Hayden

Paul Roy, member of The Searchers syndicate: “The Searchers were named after a well known pop group of the 1960s. Those of you of my generation might remember them. One of the great songs was Sweets For My Sweet. Well, we have a really a sweet filly and she has been really special. I remember going back to the Tatts Breeze-Up Sale with Jeremy (Noseda) and Anthony Stroud. We were in that desperate mode when you haven’t actually bought a horse and all of a sudden you find one you like. She was a small filly and the rest is history. The reason I’m standing up here is that for the first time in my life I was desperate to grab the podium. This is because I was - along with my other partner in the filly, Trevor Harris - out to stop our co-owner Andy Stewart grabbing the podium. If that had happened, we would have been given a one-hour treatise on the merits of jump racing versus the flat! I want to say immediately, there is no truth in the rumour that Fleeting Spirit will not be racing next year and could be used as a work companion for (Stewart’s jumpers) Celestial Halo and Big Buck’s. The true credit for this does obviously go to the team at Shalfleet, who were absolutely spectacular. Jeremy is not very well and is not here this evening but Sally is as well as Anthony who found the horse. Fleeting Spirit is an absolutely wonderful filly. Despite Andy wanting to get her down to Paul Nicholls’ yard, Fleeting Spirit will hopefully be out again next year. Most of all, we thank you Arnaud (Cartier’s UK managing director Arnaud Bamberger). In Britain, we have world-class racing and we’re delighted to be part of it, while Cartier has a world-class business.”

Still photographs and video footage of the 2009 Cartier Racing Awards are available to approved media on a free-to-use basis - please e-mail



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home