Moira Named 2022 Canadian Horse of the Year at Sovereign Awards

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Moira Woodbine Oaks Queen’s Plate Woodbine Canadian Horse of the Year Sovereign Awards
Moira swept the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser and Queen’s Plate Stakes in 2023 en route to being honored as Canadian Horse of the Year. (Woodbine/Michael Burns)

The Jockey Club of Canada hosted the 48th Annual Sovereign Awards ceremony during the evening of April 13, when Moira was awarded the night’s most prestigious prize as Canada’s 2022 Horse of the Year. The evening began with a commemoration of the club’s 50th anniversary and a recognition of the founding members from 1973.

Finalists and award winners in each category were determined by the online ballots of the Jockey Club of Canada voters. The media category award finalists were determined by media professionals within the industry selected from across North America.

In human categories—Dale Saunders was awarded the coveted E. P. Taylor Award of Merit; George Williams was honored for outstanding writing; Allan de la Plante and Julie Wright tied for outstanding photograph; Woodbine Entertainment won for outstanding audio visual/digital broadcast; Amber Hutchinson and Ricardo Nichalson were honored as outstanding grooms; Bruno Schickedanz was outstanding owner; Slade Jones was outstanding apprentice jockey; Kazushi Kimura was outstanding jockey; Mark Casse was outstanding trainer; and Adena Springs was outstanding breeder.

Among equines, Cairo Consort, campaigned last year by owner Maple Lane Farm and trainer Nathan Squires, was honored as champion 2-year-old female; Raroma Stable’s Philip My Dear  was champion 2-year-old male for trainer Kevin Attard; Moira was champion 3-year-old female in addition to Horse of the Year; Heste Sport’s Sir For Sure was champion 3-year-old male for trainer Casse; True North Stable’s Hazelbrook  was champion female sprinter for trainer Lorne Richards; Filo Di Arianna topped the champion male sprinter category and champion male turf horse categories for Casse and owners Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutsch; Charles Fipke’s homebred Lady Speightspeare was voted champion female turf horse and champion older main track female for trainer Roger Attfield; M Racing Group’s Who’s the Star, trained by Casse, was champion older main track male; and Count to Three  was outstanding broodmare.

Moira winning Queen's Plate (Michael Burns/Woodbine)

In winning Horse of the Year, Moira received 103 votes, outpolling Lady Speightspeare (75) and Filo Di Arianna (24), both dual-category winners during the Sovereign Awards.

Last year during her 3-year-old season for owners X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Racing, Moira scored three wins from five starts. The daughter of Ghostzapper kicked off her year with a victory in the Fury Stakes before dominating the Woodbine Oaks and easily handling males in the Queen’s Plate, a race sometimes referred to as Canada’s Kentucky Derby.

Her 1 1/4-mile time of 2:01.38 on Woodbine’s synthetic Tapeta surface established a track record and was the fastest in the 163-year history of the race, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

The race also gave Canadian-born bloodstock agent Donato Lanni a coveted victory as an owner. She was part of a group of horses he selected to race for the X-Men Racing partnership he heads in partnership with Madaket Stables and SF Racing.

“I’ve known [trainer] Kevin [Attard] for 20 years, and this has been a dream — a dream of his, mine — being two Canadian boys to win this race,” Lanni said on Queen’s Plate Day. “This is unbelievable. What a filly.”

Moira, bred by Adena Springs, became the eighth filly to notch the Oaks-Plate double.

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