This may come as a shock to those who watched Raven’s Pass and Henrythenavigator run 1-2 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but there was a better-regarded European horse this year.
LONDON (AP) — Zarkava, the unbeaten filly who defeated the boys in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, was chosen Europe’s Horse of the Year at the Cartier Racing Awards on Monday night.
The brilliant 3-year-old owned by the Aga Khan won all five of her starts this year, capped by a two-length victory in the Arc against Europe’s best middle-distance horses.
Zarkava won the award over Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass, English Derby winner New Approach, five-time Group 1 winner Duke of Marmalade and four-time Group 1 winner and Classic runner-up Henrythenavigator.
Recently retired from racing, the versatile Zarkava was a perfect 7-for-7 during her career, which included wins ranging in distance from a mile to 1 miles.
Zarkava also was chosen top 3-year-old filly, ahead of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Goldikova, Lush Lashes, Halfway To Heaven and Natagora. New Approach was the Cartier winner in the 3-year-old colt category.
Other winners were Duke of Marmalade (Older Horse); Yeats (Champion Stayer), Marchand D’or (Sprinter), Mastercraftsman (2-year-old Colt) and Rainbow View (2-year-old Filly).
The awards were determined by a points system, and media and fan voting.
A filly whose name starts with Z wins Horse of the Year. Could this be a good omen for Zenyatta in the North American Horse of the Year contest? The difference, of course, might be that Zarkava beat males, Zenyatta didn’t face them.