Europe's Horse of the Year, Ouija Board, had a sad end to her career yesterday, being scratched from the HK$14 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase which she won last year and for which she was to start a dominant favourite again. Ouija Board's scratching completes an unthinkable one-two knockout punch for the Jockey Club, still reeling from the positive steroid test returned by Takeover Target, which is expected to precipitate his withdrawal from the Sprint this morning. Yesterday afternoon the Jockey Club opened the all-weather track, at the request of trainer Ed Dunlop, so Ouija Board could work along, for the purpose of a veterinary examination. 'Ben Mason, one of the club's veterinary surgeons, said the mare was sore and he advised the veterinary officer, Brian Stewart,' chief stipendiary steward Jamie Stier said. 'Once Brian examined the mare, he confirmed Ben's assessment and advised the stewards that Ouija Board is unfit to race.' Executive director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said it was a very emotional afternoon, with the mare's connections gobsmacked that their iron maiden had proved to be mortal. 'But in the interests of the filly herself, there was only one decision that could be made and it was clearly the right one,' Engelbrecht-Bresges said. He added that X-rays had identified a problem in Ouija Board's left-front splint bone. The champion retires to stud as a seven-time Group One winner, the first dual winner of Europe's Horse of the Year title and one of only three horses in history to win two Breeders, Cup races. She had two starts in Hong Kong for a breathtaking win in last year's Vase (2,400m) and a third to Irridesence in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.