Wednesday 19 November 2008
Arc heroine ZARKAVA collected another important prize on Monday evening as she was crowned Cartier Horse of the Year and Champion Three-year-old Filly at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards. The jury elected ZARKAVA for supreme honours ahead of Raven’s Pass, New Approach, Duke of Marmalade and Henrythenavigator.
ZARKAVA is a most deserving winner as she never ceased to demonstrate her superiority over Europe’s best racehorses in seven outings. The daughter of Zamindar first showed her star quality when sweeping to a stylish win in the Gr 1 Prix Marcel Boussac as an inexperienced two-year-old on only her second start. Dual Classic honours followed at three as ZARKAVA brushed aside a pair of triple Gr 1 winners in Goldikova and Halfway to Heaven to secure the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, before going on to take the Prix de Diane with similar ease. ZARKAVA stunned observers when swooping from last to first in the straight for success in the Prix Vermeille on her first attempt at a mile and a half and culminated her career when once again showing her characteristic acceleration to become a rare female winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Collecting the award, HH Aga Khan explained why the superstar filly is so special to him, “When my father was killed, there was a filly in training called PETITE ETOILE. She was my first Classic contact with racing. She was trained here in England by Sir Noel Murless and ridden by Lester Piggott. She only had one daughter at stud, by Habitat, and I love my daughter so I called that filly by the name of my daughter, ZAHRA, and this family has continued to produce exceptional fillies through to this day.”
“So ZARKAVA goes back to my grandfather’s time, to my father’s time and the family carries the name of my daughter and so she is very special and I think very exceptional. As a traditional breeder, ZARKAVA is probably the greatest reward that any breeder could ever have.”
Other Cartier honours for the Aga Khan over the past decade are: Mandesha ( Cartier Three-year-old Filly 2006), Azamour (Cartier Older Horse 2005), Dalakhani (Cartier Horse of the Year & Three-Year-Old Colt 2003), Sinndar (Cartier three-Year-Old Colt 2000), Kalanisi (Cartier Older Horse 2000), Daylami (bred by AK Studs, Cartier Older Horse 1999), while HH Aga Khan was awarded the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Order of Merit in 2000.
Updated on 19/11/2008