11/12/2003 1:00AM

Dalakhani tops Cartier Awards


Dalakhani has been named named the 2003 Cartier Racing Awards Horse of the Year. His owner, the Aga Khan, was to received the prize at the annual Cartier Awards dinner in London on Wednesday night.

The brilliant winner of both the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby), Dalakhani was also heralded as Cartier's champion 3-year-old colt by a 568-379 margin over Epsom Derby/King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner Alamshar in the complicated Cartier voting system.

Divisional winners are determined by points earned in group races (50 percent), votes by leading racing journalists (25 percent), and votes from readers of Britain's Daily Telegraph (25 percent).

Falbrav was named Europe's best older horse despite losing a pair of decisions to High Chaparral in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Turf. Russian Rhythm took the 3-year-old filly prize by a 499-359 margin over Six Perfections, winnerof the Breeders' Cup Mile, largely because of her 1 1/2-length victory over Six Perfections in the 1000 Guineas.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained One Cool Cat, a two-tme Group 1 winner, took 2-year-old colt honors, while Attraction, winner of all five of her races for Mark Johnston, among them the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes, beat out Carry on Katie for the juvenile filly title, 256-191.

Oasis Dream topped Australian speedster Choisir as best sprinter, 449-302, while the 10-year-old gelding Persian Punch took a 339-226 decision over Mr Dinos as leading stayer.

Europe's official championship awards, the International Classification, will be announced in January.