Cartier Horse of the Year Dalakhani, winning the French Derby.
Trevor Jones Photo
November 13, 2003
by Ron Mitchell

Cartier Awards: Dalakhani is European Horse of the Year

The Aga Khan's Dalakhani, winner of the Grand Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) and French Derby (Fr-I), was named Europe's Horse of the Year when the Cartier Awards were presented in London on Wednesday. The ceremony was held at London's Four Seasons Hotel. A 3-year-old Darshaan colt trained by Alain de Royer Dupre, Dalakhani won eight of nine career starts, including four group I races, before being retired at the conclusion of his 2003 campaign.

Under the Cartier voting system, 50% of the total votes are based on points earned in pattern races, with 25% of the total votes based on a panel of racing journalists, and 25% from readers of The Daily Telegraph.

In addition to top honors, Dalakhani was voted the Cartier 3-Year-Old Colt award, outpolling The Aga Khan's Alamshar.

Two of the Cartier awards went to horses bred in the U.S. -- 2-year-old colt One Cool Cat (by Storm Cat) and 3-year-old filly Russian Rhythm (by Kingmambo) -- and three of the champions were bred in Ireland.

Falbrav, the runner-up to Dalakhani in the Horse of the Year contest, was voted the Cartier Older Horse Award.

Notable among the winners was 10-year-old Persian Punch, who took the Cartier Stayer Award after going over the 1-million earnings mark this year while winning four stakes.

John Oaksey, who began writing for The Daily Telegraph in 1957, and later became a leading television commentator and founder of the Injured Jockeys' Fund, received The Daily Telegraph Award of Merit.

The complete list of Cartier Award winners:

Horse Awards:

2-Year-Old Colt: ONE COOL CAT, 2-year-old bay colt, by Storm Cat -- Tacha, by Mr. Prospector; owner -- Sue Magnier; breeder -- WinStar Farm (KY); trainer -- Aodan O'Brien.

2-Year-Old Filly: ATTRACTION, 2-year-old bay filly, by Efisio -- Flirtation, by Pursuit of Love; owner -- The Duke of Roxburghe; breeder -- Floors Farming (GB); trainer -- Mark Johnston.

3-Year-Old Colt: DALAKHANI, 3-year-old gray colt, by Darshaan -- Daltawa, by Miswaki; owner -- H H Aga Khan; breeder -- H H Aga Khan Studs (IRE); trainer -- Alain de Royer Dupre.

3-Year-Old Filly: RUSSIAN RHYTHM, 3-year-old chestnut filly, by Kingmambo -- Balistroka, by Nijinsky II; owner -- Cheveley Park Stud; breeder -- Brushwood Stable (PA); trainer -- Sir Michael Stoute.

Older Horse: FALBRAV, 5-year-old bay horse, by Fairy King -- Gift of the Night, by Slewpy; owner -- Scuderia Rancati Srl & Teruya Yoshida; breeder -- Azienda Agricola Francesca (IRE); trainer -- Luca Cumani.

Sprinter: OASIS DREAM, 3-year-old bay colt, by Green Desert -- Hope, by Dancing Brave; owner -- Khalid Abdullah; breeder -- Juddmonte Farms (GB); trainer -- John Gosden.

Stayer: PERSIAN PUNCH, 10-year-old chestnut gelding, by Persian Heights -- Rum Cay, by Our Native; owner -- Jeff Smith; breeder -- Adstock Manor Stud (GB); trainer -- David Elsworth.

Horse of the Year: DALAKHANI, 3-year-old gray colt, by Darshaan -- Daltawa, by Miswaki; owner -- H H Aga Khan; breeder -- H H Aga Khan Studs (IRE); trainer -- Alain de Royer Dupre.

Individual Award:

Daily Telegraph Award of Merit: LORD JOHN OAKSEY.