Drakenstein Stud’s outstanding sire Duke Of Marmalade was once again to the fore at Tuesday night’s Cartier Awards ceremony, which were hosted at London’s famed Dorchester hotel.
The awards, the Equus equivalent of the Oscars, saw Europe’s outstanding equine athletes of 2015 honoured.
Among the horses recognised for the stellar seasons was Duke Of Marmalade’s remarkable daughter Simple Verse. The latter became just the second three-year-old ever to land the Cartier Champion Stayer Award, when holding off the likes of G1 Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris, G1 Irish St Leger winner Order Of St George, and G1 Prix Royal-Oak hero Vazirabad.
Simple Verse, who is trained by Ralph Beckett for Qatar Racing, had a superb season highlighted by a historic win in Britain’s oldest classic, the G1 Ladbrokes St Leger. In all, the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade won five times during the season (including her last four in a row), with her additional wins including the G1 Qipco British Champions Fillies &Mares Stakes, G3 Markel Insurance Fillies Stakes and the above mentioned St Leger. In landing the Leger, Simple Verse became first female since User Friendly in 1992 to win the Doncaster classic.
The three-year-old, who stays in training in 2016 where her goals are likely to include the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, beat some of the best females around, with her conquered rivals including such G1 stars as Covert Love (Irish Oaks), Arabian Queen (Juddmonte International), Tapestry (Yorkshire Oaks), and Madame Chiang (Qipco British Champions Fillies &Mares Stakes).
In total, Simple Verse has won or placed in seven of her eight career starts thus far and has earned just a shade under £800 000 in prize money.