Shirocco Wins Battle of Breeders' Cup Champions

In a matchup between former Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race winners, 2005 John Deere Turf (gr. IT) winner Shirocco held off a game Ouija Board, winner of the 2004 Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) in Friday's Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at England's Epsom Racecourse.

Racing over 1 1/2 miles on a turf course rated good, the 5-year-old Shirocco assumed the early lead while being followed by the 5-year-old Ouija Board. Ouija Board was overtaken by Ace, but the mare regained the runner-up spot as the action picked up in the straight. Pursued by Ouija Board, Shirocco raced on gamely for a 1 3/4-length triumph. The final time was 2:37.64. Enforcer finished third, followed by Ace, Notable Guest, and Something Exciting.

Trained by Andre Fabre for German owner-breeder Baron Georg Von Ullmann, Shirocco was posting his second win in as many starts since defeating Ace in his Breeders' Cup triumph. On May 7, the son of Monsun won the Jockey Club Stakes (Eng-II) at Newmarket. The horse has now won six of 11 career starts.

The Coronation Cup was the third start of the season for Ouija Board, who finished second in an attempt to defend her Filly & Mare Turf title at the Breeders' Cup. In her first outing this year, the mare traveled to Dubai where she finished fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) and then flew to Hong Kong for a third-place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I).

According to Jim Gluckson of the Breeders' Cup, the Shirocco-Ouija Board matchup was the third by two Breeders' Cup race winners since last November.

Last Nov. 27, Ouija Board met 2004 John Deere Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), with the mare finishing fifth and Better Talk Now 12th.

On May 20, Better Talk Now won the Comp USA Dixie Handicap (gr. IIT) at Pimlico, with 2005 NetJets Mile (gr. IT) winner Artie Schiller finishing third.