The Aga Khan's Valyra, winner of this year's Prix de Diane (Fr-I), suffered a fracture to her femur while training at Deauville in France the morning of Aug. 29 and had to be euthanized due to the extent of her injury.
Valyra, part of a three-horse entry owned by the Aga Khan, got up in the final strides to capture the Prix de Diane-Longines (French Oaks, Fr-I) by three-quarters of a length at Chantilly June 17.
Irish-bred No Explaining finally held on for the first black-type score of her career when she prevailed impressively by a length over a strong late challenge from two rivals in the May 21 Gallorette Handicap (gr. III).
Tattersalls' Craven breeze-up sale in England kicked off its two day-run April 13 with a 315,000-guinea ($487,989 in U.S. funds) Azamour colt that topped the opening session.
The British Horseracing Board held its Flat Awards ceremony Tuesday, eligible to horses who are trained or raced at some stage in Britain during 2005. Motivator was named Horse Of The Year by the BHB.
Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) hero Hurricane Run was rated the top Northern Hemisphere performer of 2005 by the panel of international handicappers who announced the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings Tuesday.
European racing continued to honor the stars of 2005, as the second and third major award ceremonies of the year, following on from last month's Cartier Racing Awards, took place in London, England.
Hurricane Run, whose five races this year included the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I) and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), was named European Horse Of The Year at the 2005 Cartier Racing Awards, which were presented at the Four Seasons Hotel in London's West End Wednesday, Nov. 16.
The German-bred Shirocco opened up a big lead in the stretch of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and held off a late rally by Ace to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Favored Azamour was a neck back in third making for an all-European trifecta in the 1 1/2-mile, $2.09 million race at Belmont Park.
While most of the horses running Saturday in the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races went to the track at Belmont Park Thursday for light exercise, some contenders breezed in their final preparations.
Though two big European names, Powerscourt and Motivator, will not be running on Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships day, the contingent of foreign-based horses is quite strong, Nick Clarke, retired head of the International Racing Bureau, said from Belmont Park Sunday morning.
Hurricane Run stamped himself the top racehorse of 2005 so far with an impressive success in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-Lucien Barrière (Fr-I) at Longchamp on Oct. 2.
The Aga Khan will relocate his European champion Sinndar from his Gilltown Stud in County Kildare, Ireland, to his Haras de Bonneval in France. Taking Sinndar's place at the Irish farm is the Aga Khan's homebred Irish champion Azamour.
Oratorio appears to have Motivator's number. In July, the Danehill colt handed Motivator his first defeat in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I). On Saturday, the Coolmore colt went two-for-two against the Vodafone Derby (Eng-I) winner, with a gutsy half-length victory in the $1.25 million Baileys Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown.
An all-star cast, led by this year's Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Motivator and 2004 Irish Champion (Ire-I) winner Azamour will be lining up for Saturday's running of the Baileys Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Irish Jockey Mick Kinane has a broken right wrist, it was confirmed Sunday, and will miss four to six weeks. He'll be unable to ride Azamour in the Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) on Sept. 10 at Leopardstown as a result of the injury.
Azamour charged past all 11 rivals in the final straight for a stunning victory in the star-studded King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I) on Saturday.
Azamour, last year's St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) winner at Royal Ascot, won the June 15 Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I) at this year's meeting to give the colt's breeder/owner, the Aga Khan, his second group I winner at the meeting.
Always game Grey Swallow, upset winner of the Irish Derby (Ire-I) last year, returned to The Curragh Sunday to surprise again, defeating French star Bago by three-quarters of a length in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I).
The Aga Khan's Azamour got a patented late-rallying ride from Mick Kinane to collect the Baileys Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) Saturday at Leopardstown as favored Doyen turned in a disappointing effort.
Godolphin Racingês Refuse to Bend, sent off at 12-1 odds due to his recent lack of success, returned to the winnerês enclosure Tuesday when he posted a narrow victory in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) on the opening day card of the Royal Ascot meet at Ascot, England.
Hamdan Al Maktoum's Haafhd, winner of the English Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) last month, heads a field of 11 entered for the St. James's Palace Stakes during opening day at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
Kentucky-bred Bachelor Duke became the first maiden to win the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) in more than 30 years Saturday at The Curragh, rallying strongly under pressure from jockey Seb Sanders to collar favored Azamour in the final 100 yards.
Jockey Richard Hills gave his father Barry his first training win in the 2,000 Guineas (Eng-I) since 1979 with a mild upset aboard Haafhd in the first Classic of the European season at Newmarket Saturday.
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