By Sports Reporter/Doha
Owned by Qatar Racing Limited, the outstandingly talented and consistent Roaring Lion is the fourth John Gosden ward from Newmarket to win the Cartier Horse Of The Year award in the last five years.
Three-year-old Roaring Lion followed on the footsteps of Kingman (2014), Golden Horn (2015) and Enable (2017) to win the prestigious award.
Roaring Lion also the Three-Year-Old Colt Award, following an outstanding campaign that included consecutive Group 1 victories in four of Europe’s premier all-aged races.
Purchased as a yearling by Qatar Racing’s racing manager David Redvers at the 2016 Keeneland September sale for US$160,000, the son of Kitten’s Joy enjoyed an outstanding year with victories in three Group 1 contests over 10 furlongs in the space of just over two months from July to September — the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park, the Juddmonte International at York and the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Roaring Lion followed up on those superb wins with a fourth straight Group 1 success when dropped down in distance to a mile for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day on October 20. If that were not enough, Roaring Lion also ran a great race on his only attempt at 12 furlongs when a close third behind Masar in Britain’s premier Classic, the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs in June.
Roaring Lion had already established himself as a high-class juvenile, ending a progressive two-year-old campaign with a neck second to Saxon Warrior in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
If dropping Roaring Lion back to a mile for Ascot was a bold move by the connections, the decision to let the colt race on dirt for the first time in the 10-furlong G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, USA, on November 3 appeared an altogether more fanciful choice. After breaking slowly, Roaring Lion couldn’t cope with the kick-back and was eased to come home last of the 14 runners.
Roaring Lion has been retired to stand at Tweenhills, home of Qatar Racing stallions, with Qatar Racing chairman Sheikh Fahad al-Thani describing him as “the horse of a lifetime”.
Gosden became only the second trainer to take home a total of five Cartier awards, including for Enable, who this time picked up the Cartier Older Horse award.
After an injury-interrupted campaign, the star filly returned to her brilliant best at the end of the season when winning a second straight Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and following up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. It was the first time ever that a horse won the dream double.
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