Almanzor was a convincing winner of the Champion Stakes on Saturday
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Keith Melrose 3:05PM 20 OCT 2016
THE BHA’s deputy head of handicapping, Dominic Gardiner-Hill, has revealed that Almanzor’s performance in taking Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes is better than any performance in the race bar Frankel since the race was switched to Ascot.
In the BHA’s regular handicappers’ blog, Gardiner-Hill said: “Almanzor’s effort is right out of the top drawer in comparison with the previous ten years’ runnings. At 129 only the mighty Frankel (135 in 2012) and New Approach (130 in 2008) have bettered his performance.”
New Approach won the race by six lengths from Twice Over at Newmarket in 2008, capping off his fine career. Frankel’s run was also his last, but Almanzor reportedly stays in training next year.
Gardiner-Hill also pointed out that Almanzor’s performance was rated on a par with that of A Shin Hikari when that horse demolished the field in the Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly in May.
Minding a true star
Gardiner-Hill also handicaps the milers and was keen to point out the historically strong performance of Minding in the QEII Stakes.
He said: “With the [fillies’] allowance taken into account, her performance is the equivalent of a 124 for a colt… Her effort surpasses the likes of Ramonti (123 in 2007), Poet’s Voice (122 in 2010), Charm Spirit (122 in 2014) and Solow (119 in 2015) in the last ten years but falls a little way short of the 135 recorded by Frankel in 2011 and the 130 put up by his old sparring partner Excelebration the following year.”
Minding’s actual rating is 121. Runner-up Ribchester is rated 122, while third-placed Lightning Spear received 120. Gardiner-Hill reported that these were historically high for horses placed in the QEII.
Others not so high
In the same blog post, it was announced that Sprint winner The Tin Man (117) and Long Distance Cup winner Shekhzayedroad (118) remain short of champion material in their division.
Sprint handicapper Stewart Copeland said: “Mecca’s Angel  and Limato  still head the European sprint rankings at their respective distances.”
Mark Olley said of the Order Of St George, fourth on Saturday and rated 120: “In my opinion his Gold Cup win is still the best staying performance of the year in the UK but we will have to wait for the International Classification meeting next month to see if that is ratified by my International colleagues.”
The Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings will be published in January after the handicappers of all major racing jurisdictions meet in Hong Kong later this year.