Alex Ferguson and Sue Magnier's Rock Of Gibraltar, a son of Danehill who became the first horse ever to win seven consecutive group I races when taking the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp, was named Europe's Horse of the Year when the Cartier Racing Awards were presented Wednesday.
Ferguson, manager of the Manchester United soccer team, was unable to attend the ceremony at London's Four Seasons Hotel because his team was defeating Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 in the UEFA Cup.
Ferguson's racing manager, Mike Dillon, collected the Horse Of The Year award. "There's a very proud man at Old Trafford tonight. Firstly Manchester United have beaten the German champions Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 and his team are back on the winning trail but he's also so proud to have achieved this award and is very disappointed not to be here."
A dual classic winner trained by Aidan O'Brien, Rock Of Gibraltar also received the Cartier award for 3-year-old colt.
Rock of Gibraltar's stablemate Hold That Tiger, winner of the group I Prix Grand Criterium at Longchamp on Oct. 6, picked up the 2-year-old colt award. Six Perfections, who scored in the group I Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Oct. 6, was honored as top 2-year-old filly.
Godolphin's Kazzia, who became the first horse in the last 12 years to win the British fillies' classics -- the Sagitta One Thousand Guineas and Vodafone Oaks -- topped the 3-year-old filly category. Her stablemate Grandera, winner of three group I races, took the older horse award.
Grandera's older horse award was given to his jockey, Frankie Dettori, who joked: "I'd just like to say one thing first -- I'm glad Rock Of Gibraltar has retired."
"To win the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks was really special and, after a bit of a hiccup in the Yorkshire Oaks, to come back and win the Flower Bowl in America was a great tribute to Saeed bin Suroor and his wonderful team," John Ferguson said in accepting Kazzia's honor.
In addition to the equine awards, individuals who have made a contribution to racing were also honored at the dinner, with Juddmonte Farms owner Khalid Abdullah receiving the Daily Telegraph Award of Merit and retiring jockey Tony McCoy receiving the Cartier Special Award.
The record-breaking jump jockey had to miss the ceremony after two heavy falls at Newbury earlier in the afternoon. His Special Cartier Award is only the third to be given in the history of the awards.Cartier Racing Awards 2002Horse (breeding)
2-Year-Old Colt: HOLD THAT TIGER (Storm Cat--Beware of the Cat, by Caveat)
2-Year-Old Filly: SIX PERFECTIONS (Celtic Swing--Yogya, by Riverman)
3-Year-Old Colt: ROCK OF GIBRALTAR (Danehill--Offshore Boom, by Be My Guest)
3-Year-Old Filly: KAZZIA (Zinaad--Khoruna, by Lagunas)
Stayer: VINNIE ROE (4-year-old colt, by Definite Article--Kayu, by Tap On Wood)
Sprinter: CONTINENT (5-year-old gelding by Lake Coniston--Krisis, by Kris)
Older Horse: GRANDERA (4-year-old colt by Grand Lodge--Bordighra, by Alysheba)
Horse of the Year: ROCK OF GIBRALTAR (3-year-old colt by Danehill--Offshore Boom, by Be My Guest)Individuals
Daily Telegraph Award of Merit: KHALID ABDULLAH
Cartier Special Award:TONY MCCOY