Racing: Final fling for Ouija before motherhood

If Ouija Board was the potentate of some banana republic she would by now have virtually disappeared behind a wall of medals and ribbon pinned to her uniform.

The great mare won three Racehorse Owners' Association awards on Thursday night, gongs to go with the many others clanking on her proud uniform. Ouija Board has won 10 races, over £3.5m in prize money and racing's heart, but the only figure that really counts now is one. That is the number of races left in a shimmering career which comes to a close here in the Hong Kong Vase tomorrow.

The balloon of this Phileas Fogg of racing landed at Sha Tin after efforts in Japan and Louisville and now the voyage is around 150 seconds from being over. It is a thought which has aroused a melancholic tendency in some this week, including Ed Dunlop, the mare's trainer.

Dunlop accepts he will never get a horse of Ouija Board's quality again, but he also recognises he will get more decent animals into his yard because of her billboard efforts.

Lord Derby, the mare's owner, is perhaps in the loneliest club in the world for those who think Ouija Board should be retired. He appeared a most relaxed and jovial figure yesterday as unseasonably high temperatures arrived here. It is the time of the year when lords are meant to be a leaping and naturally the 19th earl hopes he will be doing so again tomorrow.

Yet it is thought of Ouija Board returning home safe which has begun to preoccupy his thoughts. She has done too much to be lost on the field of battle and she also has much to do, principally in the quest of establishing a dynasty of her own.

"Everyone's been trying to change my mind for me about it but I'm in no doubt whatsoever that this is the right time to stop," Lord Derby said yesterday. "What more can she prove? In any case, each race is becoming more and more of a worry. The risk of anything happening to her in a race is beginning to cross over with the pleasure derived, so I know in my heart of hearts that this is the right moment. I could never live with myself if anything happened to her."

Among the many achievements of Ouija Board, her record at the Breeders' Cup series stands out. She has won the Filly & Mare Turf strand of the championships twice and finished second once, a race record which makes her statistically the most successful horse in the history of America's racing carnival.

She could not have done that without being very good, but what has distinguished Ouija Board in her four seasons on the racetrack has been an unyielding attitude and consistent endeavour.

These are traits which connections hope will be replicated in her offspring, starting with the union between the five-year-old and Kingmambo next year.

It is the thought of this second career which now sustains Lord Derby. "She's literally been a life-changing horse," he said, but added: "This is only the end of part one. Now we move on to part two. We now hope she's going to be a great foundation mare and I'm so looking forward to her children appearing."

* Today's jumps fixture at Lingfield has been abandoned (track waterlogged).

Life and Style
health
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine