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Frankel tops Cartier finalists for Horse of the Year, older horse

Finalists for the 22nd annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing's equivalent of the Oscars, were revealed Friday. The nine awards will be announced and presented during a ceremony before an invited audience of 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England, on the evening of November 13.

The five Cartier Horse of the Year finalists include the world's two best racehorses -- the unbeaten and outstanding Frankel and France's Cirrus des Aigles. They finished first and second in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 20, with Nathaniel in third.

The two other finalists for that category, won by Frankel last year, are Camelot, the best three-year-old in Europe, and top miler Excelebration.

Two great Australian racemares -- the brilliant Black Caviar, unbeaten in 22 starts, and Ortensia -- both raced and won in England this year and they figure among the five finalists for the Cartier Sprinter. The other three up for that award are Mayson, Moonlight Cloud and Wizz Kid.

The Cartier Awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. They are determined by points earned by horses in pattern races throughout 2012, combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists and votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph.

In addition to the eight equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 16-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.

"We have enjoyed a vintage year of racing with thrilling performances from horses of different generations over all distances," said Harry Herbert, Cartier's racing consultant. "We were especially privileged to witness the wonderful Frankel, who was the Cartier Horse of the Year in 2011 and is certain to take that accolade again for an unprecedented second successive year.

"The Cartier Racing Awards honor those horses who reach the pinnacle of achievement in our wonderful sport and we are set for a memorable evening on November 13 when the winners are revealed."

The finalists, in alphabetical order, for the 2012 Cartier Racing Awards are as follows:

CARTIER HORSE OF THE YEAR   CARTIER OLDER HORSE
Camelot   Cirrus des Aigles
Cirrus des Aigles   Excelebration
Excelebration   Frankel
Frankel   Moonlight Cloud
Nathaniel   Nathaniel

CARTIER SPRINTER   CARTIER STAYER
Black Caviar   Colour Vision
Mayson   Opinion Poll
Moonlight Cloud   Rite of Passage
Ortensia   Saddler's Rock
Wizz Kid   Times Up

CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT   CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY
Bayrir   Beauty Parlour
Camelot   Elusive Kate
Encke   Shirocco Star
Most Improved   The Fugue
Saonois   Was

CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT   CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY
Dawn Approach   Certify
George Vancouver   Flotilla
Kingsbarns   Rosdhu Queen
Olympic Glory   Silasol
Reckless Abandon   Sky Lantern

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