Ouija Board’s memorable campaign last year saw her land top honours at the BHB 2004 British Flat Racing Awards in central London today. The Breeders’ Cup and dual Oaks heroine picked up two Awards, including Horse Of The Year.
Now in their second year, the BHB Awards give official recognition to British Racing’s Flat champions, both equine and human. The equine Awards were based on and coincided with the publication of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings (formerly known as the International Classifications) and, in the case of two-year-olds, the European Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings.
Trophies were presented by BHB Chairman Martin Broughton in 15 Award categories, in front of a specially-invited audience of over 150, including Minister for Sport the Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP and owners, trainers, jockeys, senior industry figures and the media.
Doyen was confirmed as the top-rated European horse of 2004 and picked up the Champion Middle Distance and Champion Older Male Awards. As well as winning the Award for Horse Of The Year, Ouija Board was named Champion Three-Year-Old Filly. Other notable winners included Shamardal in the Two-Year-Old Colt category and Rakti as Champion Miler, while Soviet Song was Champion Older Female.
Each BHB Award was won by the highest-rated horse in the respective Rankings category, provided that the horse was either trained in Britain or, if trained abroad, achieved the category-topping rating on a British racecourse. The Awards for Champion Owner, Trainer, Jockey and Apprentice Jockey – won by Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor, Kieren Fallon and Tom Queally – were based on prize money earned in 2004.
BHB Chairman Martin Broughton said: “2004 was another terrific year for British Flat Racing and the BHB Awards give official recognition to those who helped to make our sport internationally renowned and respected.
“Ouija Board is a worthy Horse Of The Year. She won four of her five starts – her only defeat an unlucky third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – and picked up three Group Ones in three different countries. Her presence was one of the defining features of the 2004 Flat season and she captivated racegoers wherever she ran. British Racing is the stronger for Ouija Board staying in training and we look forward to her exploits in 2005.”