11/12/2013 7:09PM

Cartier Awards: Arc winner Treve named European horse of the year

Tom Keyser
Magician (left) was named top 3-year-old despite winning just two major races, but those races were the 2000 Guineas and the Breeders' Cup Turf.

The brilliant French 3-year-old filly Treve has been named Cartier Horse of the Year, roughly the European equivalent of North America’s Horse of the Year award.

Treve and the other Cartier award winners were formally announced at the annual Cartier Awards ceremony on Tuesday night in London. Another French female, Moonlight Cloud, was named the leading older horse in Europe. Christiane Head-Maarek trains Treve, while her brother, Freddie Head, trains Moonlight Cloud, who was bred and is owned by George Strawbridge, a Pennsylvanian.

Treve won all her races in 2013, capturing two Group 1’s, the French Oaks and the Prix Vermeille, before a dominant five-length victory over the outstanding Japanese horse Orfevre in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. A daughter of Motivator, Treve was bred by the Head family and retained for racing after failing to meet a reserve of less than $30,000 at a French auction of yearlings in 2011. Details of the filly’s purchase by Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani this past July, after her French Oaks win, never were publicized, but her price at age 3 surely ran into the many millions. Treve, who is 5 for 5 in her career, is scheduled to race next year at age 4.

Five-year-old Moonlight Cloud, however, is expected to have her career finale next month in Hong Kong. Regardless of the outcome there, the 2013 European campaign that won her the Cartier for top older horse was excellent. Moonlight Cloud didn’t make her seasonal debut until July, but she won all four of her races this year, including a trio of Group 1 victories in the Maurice de Gheest, the Jacques Le Marois, and the Prix de la Foret.

Magician was a somewhat surprising winner of the Cartier for leading 3-year-old colt. Dawn Approach, Olympic Glory, and Toronado all had better European seasons than Magician, but his upset victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf combined with a win in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas produced the honor.

Another Breeders’ Cup winner, Chriselliam, was named champion 2-year-old filly thanks to wins in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Group 1 Fillies Mile.

Kingston Hill, undefeated in three starts and winner of the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy Stakes in his most recent race, was named champion 2-year-old colt. Four-year-old Lethal Force won the Cartier for leading sprinter, while Estimate, owned by the queen of England, was named champion stayer.