The Cartier Racing Awards are now in their 26th year, awarding prizes for everything from the finest sprinter to the Cartier Horse of the Year 2015. Ahead of the awards ceremony tomorrow at The Dorchester Hotel, we grill MD Cartier UK Laurent Feniou on this love of the sport.
The Cartier Racing Awards 2016
7th November 2016
Everything you need to know about the ultimate accolade of the racing world.
Explain a bit about the history of racing and Cartier.
The Cartier Racing Awards have been European racing’s definitive awards since 1991. Now in their landmark 26th year, the much acclaimed Cartier Racing Awards will be unveiled in style on the 8th November before 300 invited guests at The Dorchester Hotel, London. The very best of the horseracing world will gather to celebrate the top European horses of 2016 and one special person. Channel 4, Britain’s exclusive terrestrial broadcaster of horseracing, joins the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph in helping to promote the event. With many years of wonderful memories, Cartier is proud to continue its support of such a prestigious and passionate sport.
In what do they both have in common?
Cartier and European horseracing aspire to be the best and their collaboration has lasted for 26 fruitful years.
When did you first start enjoying horse racing?
I have been interested in horseracing on and off for many years, but I became more interested once I joined Cartier in 2013. The magnificent Cartier Racing Awards ceremony shows the passion and excitement within horse racing and I wanted to experience this for myself at the top racecourses. Some key memories within the last 12 months include watching the Royal Procession at Royal Ascot, which is such a wonderful moment, and at the Qatar Goodwood Festival Ladies’ Day in August, where I presented Sarah Weston as the winner of the L’Ormarins best dressed competition.
Who in your opinion is the most iconic jockey of all time?
Lester Piggott’s achievements were legendary, but to my mind Frankie Dettori is the one. He is such a skilful rider and his exuberance when victorious is a delight to witness.
My interest is relatively recent but everybody was aware of the great Frankel, who remained unbeaten during his racing career. My favourite though has been a French-trained horse Treve, who was remarkable too. She won Europe’s richest race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, twice – in 2013 and 2014 – and was a gallant fourth when going for the hat-trick in 2015.
Which race in history do you wish you had witnessed?
Frankel winning the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2011. He went off so fast in front, racing clear, and it did not seem possible that he could sustain such a strong pace. But he did and won the mile Classic easily – a magnificent sporting achievement.
Who are the legends of today?
We have seen some great racing in Europe again this year and the horses are very good. The one nearest to being a legend perhaps is Minding, who has won five Group Ones in 2016 and seven in all.
How has horse racing changed over the years? More competitive? Horses now receive cult/ star status like nothing before?
Horse racing is a good sport to be involved with, because it does not change that much so, once you grasp the basics, it can be followed enjoyably in any country. Of course, there is more hype these days, but great horses deserve all the recognition they receive and the Cartier Racing Awards have helped in this.