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Khalid Abdullah is 'ROA Owner of the Year'

EnableDual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable and her owner, Khalid Abdullah, swept the boards for the second year at the 37th annual Racehorse Owners Association Horseracing Awards sponsored by Zeus Capital at London’s InterContinental Hotel.

The filly, who went on to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs after her triumph in Paris, was voted Zeus Capital Horse of the Year, Godolphin Outstanding Filly and Mare and Godolphin Outstanding Middle Distance horse, while Mr Abdullah was chosen as ROA Owner of the Year.

The awards are voted for every year by the 8,000-strong membership of the ROA.

Qatar Racing’s Roaring Lion, winner of four Group 1s, the Coral-Eclipse, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, was the Godolphin Outstanding Miler.

Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Too Darn Hot – like Enable and Roaring Lion trained by John Gosden – gained a landslide victory in the Godolphin Outstanding Juvenile after an unbeaten run of four races at maiden, Group 3, Group 2 and Group 1 level, climaxing in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Another John Gosden-trained horse, Stradivarius, owned by Mr Bjorn Nielsen, was the Godolphin Outstanding Stayer. The four-year-old won the Yorkshire Cup, the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup, thereby taking the inaugural Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million. For good measure, he went on win the British Champions Long Distance Cup in an undefeated season.

The Godolphin Outstanding Sprinter was Mr David Armstrong’s Mabs Cross, winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.

The ARC Outstanding All-Weather Horse was Captain Lars, owned by Greenfield Racing. The horse enjoyed eight victories on artificial surfaces, as well as three on turf, during 2018 for trainer and syndicate manager Archie Watson.

Over the jumps, Mrs Patricia Pugh’s Altior, after being Outstanding Novice Chaser 12 months ago, became the Racing Breaks Outstanding Chaser. The 2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner at the Cheltenham Festival is now undefeated since the spring of 2015, a 14-race streak.

John P McManus’s Buveur D’Air, who goes for a third Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, was voted Racing Breaks Outstanding Hurdler again.

Cheltenham Festival Arkle Trophy winner Footpad, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, was the Racing Breaks Outstanding Novice Chaser after an unbeaten 2017/18 season.

Proving that it is not always the most obvious contenders who win awards every year, Paul Murphy’s Kalashnikov, who embarked on his chasing career last month, saw off the challenge of Samcro to be Racing Breaks Outstanding Novice Hurdler.

The Racing Breaks Outstanding National Hunt Mare once again was Apple’s Jade, owned by Gigginstown House Stud.

The Special Achievement Award, sponsored by European Bloodstock News, has been split into two categories – National Hunt and Flat – this year.

The popular Cue Card, owned by Mrs Jean Bishop, was retired this year after a scintillating career that saw him win 16 times, including the King George VI Chase, the Betfair Chase three times and twice at the Cheltenham Festival, took the jumps category.

Brighton Racecourse specialist Roy Rocket, who has now won nine times at the south coast track for owners McCarthy & Berry, topped the poll in the Flat category.

Chester was named ROA Gold Standard Large Racecourse of the Year, while the award for the Small Racecourse was given to Bangor-on-Dee which had shared it last year. The Most Improved Large Racecourse was Newbury and the Most Improved Small Racecourse was Wetherby.

ROA President Nicholas Cooper thanked overall awards sponsor Zeus Capital, as well as Godolphin and Racing Breaks, the main sponsors of the Flat and National Hunt awards respectively. ARC and European Bloodstock News also supported the annual event.

Full awards list for 2018:

· Horse of the Year: Enable

· ROA Owner of the Year: Khalid Abdullah

· Outstanding Novice Hurdler: Kalashnikov

· Outstanding Hurdler: Buveur D’Air

· Outstanding Novice Chaser: Footpad

· Outstanding Chaser: Altior

· Outstanding National Hunt Mare: Apple’s Jade

· Outstanding All-Weather Horse: Captain Lars

· Outstanding Juvenile: Too Darn Hot

· Outstanding Filly/Mare: Enable

· Outstanding Sprinter: Mabs Cross

· Outstanding Middle Distance: Enable

· Outstanding Stayer: Stradivarius

· Outstanding Miler: Roaring Lion

· National Special Achievement Award: Cue Card

· Flat Special Achievement Award: Roy Rocket

· ROA Gold Standard Large Racecourse of the Year: Chester

· ROA Gold Standard Small Racecourse of the Year: Bangor-on-Dee

· ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Large Racecourse: Newbury

· ROA Gold Standard Most Improved Small Racecourse: Wetherby

7 December 2018

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