Harry Angel won the 2017 Cartier Sprinter Award for Godolphin, trainer Clive Cox and jockey Adam Kirby after establishing himself as the standout six-furlong speedster in Europe with victories in the G1 Darley July Cup and G1 32Red Sprint Cup.
The presentation at the 27th annual Cartier Racing Awards was made on the evening of Tuesday, November 14, in London before an invited audience of over 300 in the ballroom of the Dorchester Hotel.
Hugh Anderson, Godolphin’s Managing Director in the UK and Dubai, accepted the award from Laurent Feniou, Managing Director Cartier UK.
He commented: “I know this room is full of the very best trainers and very best jockeys, but is there a better partnership of trainer and jockey than Clive and Adam when it comes to G1 sprinters?
“Harry Angel has been absolutely brilliant – a flag-bearer for Godolphin this season along with some very good horses that have been mentioned tonight.
“On behalf of Godolphin, I want to thank Clive, I want to thank Adam, I want to thank Cartier for this very prestigious award and mostly I’d like to thank Sheikh Mohammed for his unflagging generosity and loyalty to our sport.”
Purchased as a yearling at the Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, the son of Dark Angel hails from the family of Xtension, whom Cox trained to win the G2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in 2009.
A G2 scorer on his second and final start as a two-year-old in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, Harry Angel started the 2017 campaign with an encouraging second behind Blue Point in the G3 Pavilion Stakes at Ascot in April, having pulled hard.
He laid down a marker for G1 honours on his next outing with a dominant four and a half-length victory in the G2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock Park on fast ground, smashing the six-furlong course record in the process.
That performance put Harry Angel firmly on course for a mouth-watering clash with the then unbeaten Caravaggio and his Pavilion Stakes conqueror Blue Point in the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Running in the Godolphin colours for the first time, Harry Angel showed brazen speed from the gates. He held the advantage entering the final furlong, but his early exertions told close home as the fast-finishing Caravaggio pounced to win by just under a length.
Connections of both the winner and runner-up turned their attentions to older opposition for a vintage renewal of the G1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket on July 15. As well as Caravaggio and Harry Angel, the line-up featured previous winner Limato, plus The Tin Man and Tasleet, who were first and second in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot
Unlike at Royal Ascot, Harry Angel allowed regular Adam Kirby to exercise more restraint. The pair sat upside Caravaggio’s pacemaker before quickening into an unassailable lead over a furlong out and staying on strongly to win by a length and a quarter from Limato on good to firm going.
Following a two-month break, Harry Angel returned to Haydock Park for the G1 Sprint Cup on September 9, although on very different ground compared to his track record success in May.
The going, officially described as heavy, was a question mark for Cox and there was plenty of debate about whether to run, but those concerns proved unfounded as Harry Angel streaked clear for an easy four-length victory.
Harry Angel is set to stay in training next year, with all the top sprints on his agenda.