Camelot's shock defeat in the final Classic of British Flat season, the Group One Ladbrokes St Leger, has left the race to be crowned Cartier Horse Of The Year seemingly at the mercy of Frankel.
The Cartier Racing Awards are now in their 22nd year, having been 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 eight equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.
European horseracing's equivalent of the Oscars will be presented during a glittering ceremony before an invited audience at London's Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday evening, November 13.
The wait for a Triple Crown winner continues after the Aidan O'Brien-trained Camelot, so impressive in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, failed to reel in Godolphin's Encke (56) when coming up three quarters of a length short in Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, September 15.
Camelot (168), however, has a 22-point lead over Frankel (144) in current standings for the Cartier Horse Of The Year honours, while Moonlight Cloud (100) has emerged as a potential threat to the leading pair after gaining her second Group One victory of the season in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sunday, September 16.
The Freddy Head-trained filly, owned by George Strawbridge, is now on course for a tilt at the Grade One Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita, USA, on November 3. On the same Longchamp card, the Aga Khan's Shareta (88), who captured the Group One Darley Yorkshire Oaks on August 23, added the Group One Qatar Prix Vermeille to her CV with a comfortable two-length success.
Frankel holds a commanding lead at the head of Cartier Older Horse Award standings ahead of Moonlight Cloud and Shareta, while Farhh has moved onto 84 points after finishing a close second to Moonlight Cloud at Longchamp.
Camelot retains a dominant lead over his peers for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award, with Prix du Jockey Club hero Saonois his nearest pursuer on 74 points after a length and a quarter success over Bayrir (56) in the Qatar Prix Niel on Sunday, September 16. Encke's Ladbrokes St Leger triumph has propelled him onto 56 points.
The Fugue (82) leads from Investec Oaks heroine Was (68) in the Carter Three-Year-Old Filly category with Poule d'Essai des Pouliches winner Beauty Parlour, who is yet to have her first start for Sir Henry Cecil, on 56 points.
Reckless Abandon (64) heads the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Award standings from Dawn Approach (48), who extended his unbeaten record to five in first-time Godolphin blue with a decisive four and three quarter length victory in the Group One Goffs Vincent O'Brien Stakes at the Curragh on September 15.
Sky Lantern (40), trained by Richard Hannon, stormed into a clear lead in the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly category with an emphatic success in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh on September 9. Certify (24), another Godolphin runner, took her unbeaten record to three when scoring by a head in the Group Two Barrett Steel May Hill Stakes at Doncaster on September 14.
Godolphin's Colour Vision (60) has topped the Cartier Stayer Award standings since his enthralling success over Opinion Poll (36), also owned by Godolphin, in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June, while Times Up (35), trained by John Dunlop who retires at the end of the season, has emerged as a leading stayer with a pair of smooth Group Two victories in the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup at York and the Stobart Doncaster Cup at Doncaster.
Darley July Cup hero Mayson and Moonlight Cloud remain locked together on 56 points at the head of the Cartier Sprinter Award standings, while Australian stars Ortensia, who disappointed in the Betfred Sprint Cup on September 8, and Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner Black Caviar are next on 54 and 48 points respectively.
Harry Herbert, Cartier's racing consultant, commented: "Although Camelot's defeat on Town Moor was something of a shock, we should not forget he is colt of exceptional quality and his Classic wins at Newmarket and Epsom will live long in the memory.
"There is exciting racing to look forward to with the major autumn festivals coming thick and fast so there are still plenty of opportunities to make an impact on the 2012 Cartier Awards."