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2006 CARTIER Award winners

Ouija Board

Ouija Board

Horse of the Year
Ouija Board

Top Older Horse
Ouija Board

Top Stayer

Top Sprinter

Three-Year-Old Colt
George Washington

Three-Year-Old Filly

Two-Year-Old Colt

Two-Year-Old Filly
Finsceal Beo


Ouija Board lands Cartier double

The amazing mare Ouija Board was named Horse Of The Year at the 2006 Cartier Racing Awards, presented at the Four Seasons Hotel in London's West End on the evening of Wednesday, November 15.

The five-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 Cartier Horse Of The Year award twice. Lord Derby's star performer also collected the top honour in 2004.

Her terrific performance in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, where she just touched off Alexander Goldrun, and a second Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf 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 Two-Year-Old Colt and Two-Year-Old Filly. The unbeaten dual Group One winner Teofilo came out ahead of Holy Roman Emperor, Dutch Art, Strategic Prince and Authorized to win the accolade of Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt, while Finsceal Beo, successful in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, becomes the Cartier Two-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 & John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith once again enjoyed a wonderful year and this is reflected with George Washington, the outstanding miler of his generation, just taking the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award from Arc victor Rail Link, with the other nominations being Dylan Thomas, Sir Percy and Red Rocks.

Yeats, successful in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, is another winner for the Ballydoyle operation, securing the Cartier Stayer title. The five-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, who collects the Cartier Sprinter Award ahead of Les Arcs, Amadeus Wolf, Iffraaj and Desert Lord.

Success for France comes with the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Award just going to Mandesha, owned by Princess Zahra Aga Khan and a three-time Group One 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 tried and tested 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 per cent of the total, with the Cartier Racing Panel's deliberations also having a 40 per cent share and the votes of the newspaper readers making up the final 20 per cent.

The Cartier Racing Awards, European racing's equivalent of the Oscars and recognised as the most prestigious within European horseracing, will honour the best horses of each Flat season, as well as a man (men) or woman (women) who has (have) made an outstanding contribution to the sport.

The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to recognise excellence in the racehorse.

Cartier Champion Older Horse
Cartier Horse Of The Year

5 b m Cape Cross (IRE) -Selection Board (Welsh Pageant)
Form: -43215121 Owner: Lord Derby
Trainer: Ed Dunlop Breeder: Stanley Estate & Stud Co

The amazing Ouija Board story continued in 2006 and the great mare collects the 2006 Cartier Racing Awards for Champion Older Horse and Horse Of The Year.

She has now won four Cartier Racing Awards, having been crowned Three-Year-Old Filly and Horse Of The Year in 2004.

Ouija Board is the first horse in the distinguished 16-year history of the Cartier Racing Awards to capture the Horse Of The Year title twice.

At the start of this year, the Cape Cross mare had already gained no less than four Group/Grade One victories carrying the famous black and white silks of Lord Derby, with the quartet coming in different countries - England, Ireland, the USA and Hong Kong.

Three were in her remarkable three-year-old season in 2004 when she met defeat only once in five outings. A facile victory in the Listed R L Davison Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket meant she went for the principal British Classic for fillies, the Group One Vodafone Oaks at Epsom, which she completely dominated to score by seven length.

The Irish Classic, the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh, was her next target and she again came out on top before being rested over the summer. Taking on colts for the first time in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, she encountered traffic problems entering the straight but finished with a late flourish to take third behind Bago.

Ouija Board made the long journey to Lone Star Park, Texas, USA, to contest the 2004 Grade One Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Again showing a great turn of foot, she came home a length and a half ahead of Film Maker.

A four-year-old season troubled by training setbacks ended in triumph with victory in the Group One Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase in December, 2005.

Her 2006 campaign began in Dubai in the Group One Sheema Classic on March 25, when she did not enjoy the clearest of runs to finish fourth to Hearts Cry. On April 23, she was back in Hong Kong for the Group One Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin and again was out of luck, finishing with great effect to be beaten under half a length in third behind Irridescence.

Following her return to Newmarket, Ouija Board's first British start of 2006 came in the Group One Vodafone Coronation Cup at Epsom in June when, after a long battle up the straight, she just found Shirocco too strong.

At Royal Ascot, the decision was taken to drop Ouija Board down in distance to 10 furlongs for the Group One Prince of Wales's Stakes. She had not won over this distance since early in her three-year-old career and, with the main focus on David Junior and Electrocutionist, she was sent off an 8/1 chance.

Partnered by Olivier Peslier, Ouija Board came from off the pace with a devastating run down the outside to defeat Electrocutionist half a length. In the jubilant winners' enclosure, her owner Lord Derby perfectly summarised his superstar by declaring: "What a girl!"

For her next two starts, Ouija Board remained at 10 furlongs. In the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown she failed to get a clear passage and finished fifth to David Junior.

That frustrating effort was followed by what for many people has been the race of the season in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in August. Ouija Board was up against another great filly in Alexander Goldrun but surely nobody could have predicted what a contest it would prove to be.

Virtually head to head throughout the final furlong, with neither filly giving in, it was Ouija Board who just surged ahead in the dying strides under Frankie Dettori to defeat the Irish challenger by a short-head.

Ouija Board remained at 10 furlongs for her next outing, going down by a head to Dylan Thomas in the Irish Champion Stakes with Jamie Spencer up before regaining her crown in the 11-furlong Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs on November 4, when she stormed home by two and a quarter lengths in the hands of Dettori.

This remarkable mare has now earned well over £3 million in prize money and has become a public favourite wherever she races. Her career is not over, as she is set run in Japan and Hong Kong before her retirement to stud at the end of the year.

Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly

2 ch f Mr Greeley (USA) - Musical Treat (IRE) (Royal Academy (USA))
Form: -12611 Owner: Michael Ryan
Trainer: Jim Bolger IRE Breeder: Rathbarry Stud

Bred by Rathbarry Stud, Finsceal Beo was purchased for 340,000 euros by Michael Ryan's Al Eile Stud at the Goffs Sales in Ireland in September, 2005.

The Mr Greeley filly made her debut in a six-furlong maiden at Leopardstown on April 23, when she showed a willing attitude to score by three quarters of a length.

A hairline fracture meant that Finsceal Beo was not seen again until September 1, in a mile nursery at Tralee, where she performed with credit to chase home Numen, conceding 7lb to the winner.

Contesting the very valuable and competitive Goffs Million for her third start, over seven furlongs at the Curragh on September 19, Finsceal Beo ran an excellent race to finish sixth of 28 behind Miss Beatrix, staying on well from her unfavourable draw.

Finsceal Beo showed her class and rapid progress by landing her next two outings. After a mightily impressive five-length victory in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac over a mile at Longchamp on Arc Day, she produced another sublime performance to take the Group Two In The Pink Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on October 14 over a furlong less, recording a comfortable three-length success over Rahiyah.

Teofilo (Kevin Manning farside)
and Holy Roman Empire (Mick Kinane)
treat the huge crowd to a stirring finish
in the Dewhurst Stakes.


Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt

2 b c Galileo (IRE) - Speirbhean (IRE) (Danehill (USA))
Form: -11111 Owner: Jackie Bolger
Trainer: Jim Bolger IRE Breeder: Jim Bolger

Teofilo, home-bred by the Bolger family, is a son of Galileo, who is enjoying a superb start to his stallion career. He takes the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt award after ending his juvenile season unbeaten after five races, all over seven furlongs.

After a narrow debut success at the Curragh on July 16, Teofilo stepped up to Listed company later that month at Leopardstown, when he beat Middleham by a comfortable length and three quarters, looking every inch a top-class performer.

Teofilo landed his first success at Pattern level in the Group Two Galileo European Breeders' Fund Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on August 26, holding off Eagle Mountain to score by a head, and he returned to the track the following month in the Group One Laing O'Rourke National Stakes when he again showcased his massive talent with a decisive length and a quarter victory over Holy Roman Emperor.

On his final outing of 2006 in the Group Darley One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on October 14, Teofilo again got the better of Holy Roman Emperor, this time by a head, displaying his battling qualities to land the spoils having been headed inside the final furlong, thus preserving his 100 per cent record.

He goes into the winter as favourite for the Stan James 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and Vodafone Derby at Epsom, with talk of a possible attempt at the Triple Crown - a feat last achieved by Nijinsky in 1970.

Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly

3 b f Desert Style (IRE) - Mandalara (IRE) (Lahib (USA))
Form: -711D111 Owner: Princess Zahra Aga Khan
Trainer: Alan De Royer-Dupre FR Breeder: Princess Zahra Aga Khan

Mandesha, owned and bred by Princess Zahra Aga Khan, takes the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly accolade, having shown her class and versatility throughout this season.

Unraced as a juvenile, the daughter of Desert Style followed a luckless run on her debut over 10 furlongs at Longchamp on April 30 with victory over half a furlong extra at Saint-Cloud a month later.

Pitched into Listed company over an extended 11 furlongs at Le Lion-D'Angers on June 13, Mandesha scored by a neck, and next time at Maisons-Laffitte on July 2, dropped back to nine furlongs in the Group Three Prix Chloe, she came home in front of Sexy Lady, only to be disqualified and placed last after causing interference inside the distance. Mandesha made up for that disappointment, however, by going on to win her next three races, all in Group One company. Her superb hat-trick kicked off in the Prix d'Astarte over a mile at Deauville on July 30, when she got the better of Impressionnante by half a length.

Proving her adaptability at the highest level, Mandesha then scored over a mile and a half in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on September 10, when such was her superiority over her 10 rivals, she could afford to be eased by her jockey inside the final furlong, comfortably defeating Montare by a length and a half.

Her final outing saw Mandesha triumph in the 10-furlong Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp on October 1. Having been brought with a daring run up the inside by Christophe Soumillon, she was forced to fight to the line by runner-up Satwa Queen, but still had enough in reserve to come home three quarters of a length clear.

George Washington

George Washington

Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt

3 b c Danehill (USA) - Bordighera (USA) (Alysheba (USA))
Form: -12316 Owner: Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien IRE Breeder: Lael Stables

George Washington, a half-brother to triple Group One winner Grandera, carried all before him during an exceptional two-year-old campaign that yielded four victories, signing off with two clear-cut wins at Group One level and the accolade of Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt.

The Danehill colt began this season in similarly explosive form, storming to a two and a half length success over Sir Percy in the first British Classic, the Stan James 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6, displaying his brilliant change of gear to settle the contest in a matter of strides.

Heavy ground at the Curragh in the Irish version later that month was not to George Washington's liking, although he still managed to finish a good second behind Araafa. Muscle damage sustained during the race meant that he was not at peak condition for his next appearance, in the Group Two totesport Celebration Mile at Goodwood on August 27, though he ran a decent third behind Caradak and Killybegs.

However, George Washington retuned to his brilliant best in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on September 23. Always travelling supremely well behind the leaders, he cruised to the front approaching the final furlong without being asked a serious question, and quickened clear of his field, comprehensively reversing form with his Curragh conqueror Araafa to score by a length and a quarter.

George Washington made his final appearance in the US$5-million Grade One Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, USA, on November 4. Despite trying the 10-furlong trip and dirt surface for the first time, he still ran well, finishing an honourable sixth behind Invasor.

Cartier Stayer Of The Year

5 b h Sadler's Wells (USA) - Lydonville (IRE) (Top Ville)
Form: -1127 Owner: Sue Magnier
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien IRE Breeder: Barronstown Stud & Orpendale

Yeats is the 2006 Cartier Stayer Of The Year following magnificent victories at Royal Ascot and at Glorious Goodwood.

Prior to this year, the Sadler's Wells horse had not ventured beyond 14 furlongs. A leading fancy for the Derby as a three-year-old, he was forced to miss that Classic due to injury but made amends the following season by collecting the Coronation Cup at Epsom. He also showed last season that he was not short of stamina by finishing a staying on fourth in the Irish St Leger. This year, he made his seasonal reappearance in the Gold Cup over two and a half miles at Royal Ascot. A magnificent training performance from Aidan O'Brien saw Yeats simply blow away the opposition with an authoritative fourth-length success over Reefscape, with Distinction in third.

He then headed to Glorious Goodwood in August for the Group Two ABN Amro Goodwood Cup over two miles on August 3, when he was equally as impressive as he had been at Ascot and easily beat Geordieland by five lengths. A crack at the Irish Field St Leger was next on the cards and at the Curragh on September 16 he went down by half a length to the smart filly Kastoria, having not been suited by the slow early pace in the 14-furlong contest.

Connections then made the bold step to take Yeats "Down Under" for a crack at the Group One Emirates Melbourne Cup. Saddled with top-weight, the horse put up a bold effort in the famous contest and was in front with a half a mile to go before fading into seventh place.

Cartier Sprinter Of The Year

5 ch g Mark Of Esteem (IRE) - Imperial Bailiwick (IRE) (Imperial Frontier)
Form: -314105112 Owner: Gary & Lesley Middlebrook
Trainer: Eric Alston Breeder: Gary & Lesley Middlebrook

Reverence was undoubtedly the most improved horse of 2006 and is the Cartier Sprinter Of The Year. Home-bred by Gary and Lesley Middlebrook at their base in Windermere, Cumbria, the Mark Of Esteem gelding did not run until he was a four-year-old and ended 2005 with a maiden win and three handicap successes.

This season began at the Lincoln meeting, this year run at Redcar, back in March when he finished third to Les Arcs over six furlongs on his first start in Listed company. A victory in a five-furlong conditions event at Nottingham the following month was next and he then recorded his first Pattern race victory by taking Sandown's Group Two Temple Stakes in May.

The fast ground was against him at Royal Ascot in the Group Two King's Stand Stakes - Reverence has always shown a distinct preference for soft conditions - but he showed how far he had progressed by winning the five-furlong Group One VC Bet Nunthorpe Stakes at York's Ebor meeting in August, recording a comfortable two-length victory over Amadeus Wolf.

At Haydock in September, the rains arrived and Reverence was in his element on the heavy ground as he defeated Quito by a neck in the Group One six-furlong Betfred Sprint Cup. That victory at the North West venue was especially memorable for Mr and Mrs Middlebrook who hail from the region, with Mr Middlebrook also a director at Haydock Park.

Reverence attempted to make it three Group One wins in a row and only found Desert Lord a neck too strong in the five-furlong Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp in October, staying on strongly in the closing stages on ground that was plenty fast enough for him.

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