For the second time, Ouija Board was named Europe's Horse Of The Year at the 2006 Cartier Racing Awards, presented at the Four Seasons Hotel in London's West End Wednesday, Nov. 15.
The 5-year-old daughter of Cape Cross
, trained by Ed Dunlop in Newmarket, England, becomes the first horse in the 16-year history of the Cartier Awards to win the Horse Of The Year award twice. Lord Derby's star performer also collected the top honor in 2004.
Her performance in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Goodwood, where she just touched off Alexander Goldrun, and a second Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs earlier this month also enabled Ouija Board to collect the 2006 Cartier Older Horse Award.
In the Horse Of The Year category, Ouija Board saw off opposition from Pride, Alexandrova, Teofilo and George Washington, while in the Older Horse category she prevailed over Pride, Hurricane Run, Shirocco and Reverence.
Irish trainer Jim Bolger achieves the memorable feat of capturing the Cartier Racing Awards for 2-Year-Old Colt and 2-Year-Old Filly. The unbeaten dual Group I winner Teofilo (Galileo) came out ahead of Holy Roman Emperor, Dutch Art, Strategic Prince and Authorized to win the accolade of Cartier 2-Year-Old Colt, while Finsceal Beo (Mr. Greeley
), successful in the Group I Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, becomes the Cartier 2-Year-Old Filly ahead of Simply Perfect, Indian Ink, Sander Camillo and Miss Beatrix.
The Ballydoyle team of trainer Aidan O'Brien and owners Sue and John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith once again enjoyed a successful year and this is reflected with George Washington (Danehill), the outstanding miler of his generation, just taking the Cartier 3-Year-Old Colt Award from Arc victor Rail Link, with the other nominations being Dylan Thomas, Sir Percy and Red Rocks.
Yeats (Sadler's Wells), successful in the Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, is another winner for the Ballydoyle operation, securing the Cartier Stayer title. The 5-year-old saw off determined competition from Sergeant Cecil, Montare, Kastoria and Shamdala.
Gary and Lesley Middlebrook enjoyed a wonderful year with their home-bred Reverence (Mark of Esteem), who collects the Cartier Sprinter Award ahead of Les Arcs, Amadeus Wolf, Iffraaj and Desert Lord.
Success for France comes with the Cartier 3-Year-Old Filly Award just going to Mandesha (Desert Style), owned by Princess Zahra Aga Khan and a three-time group I winner, who beat Alexandrova in a photo-finish, with Speciosa, Nannina and Confidential Lady the other nominations.
The eight horse awards were decided by a combination of points achieved in Pattern races, the views of racing journalists on Cartier's Racing Panel, and votes from readers of Racing Post
and The Daily Telegraph
. The Pattern races counted towards 40% of the total, with the Cartier Racing Panel's deliberations also having a 40% share and the votes of the newspaper readers making up the final 20%.