A Shin Hikari is targeting Royal Ascot after dominating foes in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly
With an eye-catching performance in the Prix d’Ispahan (G1) during his European debut, A Shin Hakari (JPN)  has claimed the top spot in the fourth edition of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2016.
|LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings |
|1||A SHIN HIKARI (JPN)||129||JPN|
|2||CALIFORNIA CHROME (USA)||126||USA|
A Shin Hikari was making his first start of the year in the Prix d’Ispahan, and he turned it into a runaway, defeating Dariyan by open lengths. The son of Deep Impact ended his 2015 season with a one length victory in the Longines Hong Kong Cup (G1). His connections decided to campaign him internationally this year, and his next start is scheduled to be in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) during Royal Ascot.
In Ireland, Fascinating Rock (IRE)  put in a powerful performance to take the Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1) by 3 ¾ lengths over Found. Fascinating Rock has faced that foe in his last three starts, including finishing third to the filly in the Camelot European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes (G3) in May and beating her in the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot last October.
Joining Fascinating Rock in the joint eighth position is Investec Derby (G1) hero Harzand (IRE) . In his first attempt at Group 1 company, Harzand defeated US Army Ranger (IRE)  by 1 ½ lengths, and he has now won all three of his starts this year. The 3-year-old colt is by Sea the Stars, who won the Derby en route to topping the world rankings in 2009.
Harzand is not the only 3-year-old who has impressed in the past month. After finishing second to Nyquist (USA)  in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), Exaggerator (USA)  improved his rating whilst handing Nyquist his first career defeat in the Preakness Stakes (G1). Nyquist finished third in the Preakness, a nose behind Cherry Wine. Earlier this year, Exaggerator took the Santa Anita Derby (G1) by 6 ¼ lengths, and he is the favorite for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday.
The Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) went to Makahiki (JPN) , who finished a nose in front of Satono Diamond (JPN)  in a dramatic edition of the race.
Awtaad (IRE)  took the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1) by 2 ½ lengths over Galileo Gold (GB) , the winner of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas (G1). The following day, Jet Setting (IRE)  defeated QIPCO 1000 Guineas (G1) heroine Minding (IRE)  by a head in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1). Minding went on to impressively win the Investec Oaks (G1) in her next start despite a troubled trip. In France, The Gurkha (IRE)  romped in the Poule d’Essai Poulains (G1) by 5 ½ lengths.
Meanwhile, 4-year-old Time Test (GB)  finds himself ranked again this year after taking the BetVictor Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3) in his 2016 debut.
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