Arrogate: achieved a rating of 134 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tony McFadden 2:40pM 24 JAN 2017
ARROGATE has been officially confirmed as the world’s best racehorse of 2016, with his rating of 134 matching the figure achieved by 2015 champion American Pharoah, who was also trained by Bob Baffert.
Arrogate produced his defining performance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and you have to go back to 2012 – when the imperious Frankel was on the scene – to find a performance rated higher than his half-length beating of seven-time Grade 1 winner California Chrome.
Second on the list with a rating of 133 is his adversary, who enjoyed a stellar year and put up top-class performances in winning the $ 1 million TVG Pacific Classic and Awesome Again Stakes.
California Chrome may have lost out to Arrogate at the Longines World’s Best Racehorse ceremony in London on Tuesday but he was named American Horse of the Year at the prestigious Eclipse Awards last week.
The duo will leave behind the battle for ceremonial honours and resume competition on the track in the inaugural running of the $ 12 million Pegasus World Cup – the world’s richest horserace – at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
The highest-rated turf performer is star Australian mare Winx, who earned a rating of 132 through her eight-length beating of Hartnell in the William Hill Cox Plate during the Melbourne Spring Carnival. To put Winx’s achievement into context, Black Caviar, who retired in 2013 as a national hero and unbeaten after 25 starts, also attained a career-high figure of 132.
Only three European-trained horses feature among the top ten in the world, with Jean Claude-Rouget’s Almanzor, who achieved a rating of 129 through his wins in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes and Qipco Champion Stakes, faring best by a significant margin.
Found and Postponed were the other two European-trained horses to break into the top ten and they share the honour of being the highest-rated horses from Britain or Ireland. However, their rating of 124 compares poorly against those who have previously taken that crown.
It may have been an underwhelming season for European-trained horses on the whole, but with a rating of 129 Almanzor is an up-to-scratch flagbearer, rated just 1lb lower than last year’s Arc and Derby hero Golden Horn and higher than any other European-trained colt since 2013.
It is easy to make a case for the Breeders’ Cup Classic being the most exciting contest of 2016 from a visual viewpoint, but it was also the world’s best race from a ratings perspective.
The average rating of the first four home in the Classic was 125.25, while the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes had the second-highest average with 124.75.
There was a strong crop of Japanese colts in 2016, and the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) were the best three-year-old races in the world with a rating of 119.75, half a pound ahead of the Investec Derby.
There is also an annual competition to recognise the top jockeys throughout the world, which was won by Ryan Moore. Moore was presented with his prize for the Longines World’s Best Jockey at a ceremony last month.