11/17/2009 1:00AM

Sea the Stars gets top Cartier honor


Sea the Stars landed the first of what promises to be a rich collection of season-ending awards when he was named the Cartier Horse of the Year at the Cartier Racing Awards dinner in London on Tuesday night. A son of Cape Cross and Urban Sea, he was six-time Group 1 winner between a mile and 1 1/2 miles in England, Ireland, and France in 2009. He was also named champion 3-year-old colt.

The winner of the 2000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby, and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and three Group 1 races at 1 1/4 miles, Sea the Stars was the principal reason his trainer, John Oxx, was given the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit. Among the horses the 59-year-old Oxx has trained during his 30-year career are Ridgewood Pearl, Timarida, Sinndar, Alamshar, and Azamour.

Trained by Freddie Head to a second Breeders' Cup Mile triumph, Goldikova took Cartier's older-horse honors. Racing Post Trophy winner St Nicholas Abbey, trained by Aidan O'Brien, is the champion 2-year-old colt, while Special Duty, the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes, is the juvenile filly champ.

Sariska's victories for Michael Bell in the English Oaks and Irish Oaks enabled her to nip Ghanaati and Midday for 3-year-old filly honors. The O'Brien-trained Yeats took the stayers award by virtue of his record-setting fourth victory in the Ascot Gold Cup, edging the Oxx-trained Alandi, who beat him in both the Irish St. Leger and the Prix du Cadran. The filly Fleeting Spirit, trained by Jeremy Noseda to win the July Cup, was named champion sprinter.

Emblematic of Thoroughbred achievement in Europe, the Cartier Awards were first presented in 1991 and are derived through a combination of a group race points system, plus the votes of a panel of European racing journalists and readers of Britain's Daily Telegraph and the Racing Post.