Sometimes we are associated with fast ladies and this is a case when I am very happy to be associated with a fast lady! …

I want to say that, as a traditional breeder, Zarkava is probably the greatest reward that any breeder could ever have. If you are in this industry and you like breeding and not only racing this is the greatest, greatest reward that any owner could have because whether we admit it or not — and men can be kind of macho — we depend on the ladies in this game. They are the ones who produce the winners. And some of them we try to make faster than others.

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The Aga Khan last night (Monday, November 17) elaborated on why Zarkava meant so much to him when collecting the filly’s prizes as Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Champion Three-Year-Old Filly at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. The daughter of Zamindar was unbeaten in seven starts, culminating in a brilliant Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory last month, and the Aga Khan revealed that the filly’s great, great grand dam had been named after his daughter Princess Zahra, who also attended the 2008 Cartier Awards.

I would like to thank Cartier for the prize that has been given to Zarkava and just share with you what she means to me.

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 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. Sometimes we are associated with fast ladies and this is a case when I am very happy to be associated with a fast lady!

After collecting the Cartier Horse Of The Year Award, the Aga Khan added:

Thank you very much for the honour and I have to mention my daughter. She bred Mandesha and she bred Darjina and she will probably be putting her father back out to the field!

I want to say that, as a traditional breeder, Zarkava is probably the greatest reward that any breeder could ever have. If you are in this industry and you like breeding and not only racing this is the greatest, greatest reward that any owner could have because whether we admit it or not — and men can be kind of macho — we depend on the ladies in this game. They are the ones who produce the winners. And some of them we try to make faster than others.

The invited audience at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards consisted of leading owners, trainers, jockeys, breeders, racing personalities and media.The Cartier Racing Awards, horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars, are recognised as the most prestigious within European horseracing and were established in 1991 to honour excellence in the racehorse.

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