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Oppenheimer keen on King George for Cartier winner Star Catcher

Owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer, who accepted his fourth Cartier Award on Tuesday night courtesy of Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly STAR CATCHER (GB), plans to aim his latest flag-bearer at the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes in 2020.

“We’d certainly like to win the King George,” Oppenhiemer told GBRI at the 29th renewal of the ceremony.

“We missed out with GOLDEN HORN (GB) because it was too soft. We missed out with CRACKSMAN (GB), because it was too firm. So that’s my main target.”

The Hascombe & Valiant Stud owner, whose latest Cartier Awards winner has delivered a trio of Group 1 successes in 2019 including the Group 1 Irish Oaks, is well aware that such a campaign would mean a clash with five-time Cartier Awards winner and this year’s Cartier Older Horse and Cartier Horse of the Year, ENABLE (GB).

“Obviously, we may have to face Enable sometime,” Oppenheimer admitted, “and when I decided to keep my horse in training next year, I didn’t know that Enable was going to run as well for the same trainer. But I’m quite sure we won’t flinch from taking her on.”

As well as looking forward to 2020, Oppenheimer was keen to emphasise the value of a Cartier Award to his Newmarket-based Hascombe & Valiant team.

“We have only about eight working staff, and for them to get an award like this, it boosts the morale,” he explained.

“The prestige of winning a Cartier Award stays with the horse and the stud, and the people working there. It something which, really, they aspire to. I think it’s one of the nicest awards in the world.”