The Aga Khan’s brilliant filly Zarkava was named Cartier Horse of the Year at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards last night (Monday 17 November).

The unbeaten three-year-old,retired to stud, counted the French 1000 Guineas, the French Oaks and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe among her five victories this year.

She beat Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Raven’s Pass, four-time Group One winner Henrythenavigator, King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Duke Of Marmalade and Derby, Juddmonte International and Champion Stakes victor New Approach to the prize.

Zarkava, who was trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, also took the three-year-old fillies’ title, while the equivalent colts’ prize went to the Jim Bolger trained New Approach.

The John Gosden-trained Rainbow View was best two-year-old filly for owner George Strawbridge, and David Wachman’s Mastercraftsman was best two-year-old colt.

Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable won the Cartier prizes for older horses and stayers with Duke Of Marmalade and Yeats respectively, who took his third Ascot Gold Cup in June, while the Freddy Head-trained Marchand D’Or, winner of the July Cup, Prix de l’Abbaye and Prix Maurice de Gheest at the top level in 2008, took the sprinter’s award home to France.

The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit went to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his vast contribution to racing and breeding around the world.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “I am delighted by this award. I love racing and I will always be involved in the sport. Thank you very much.”