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simon rowlands

Sparks fly over rankings decisons Simon Rowlands explains the reasons as to why Arrogate remains at the top of the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings

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nd-of-season discussions of ratings tend to be rather dry affairs, of little interest outside a narrow circle of purists, but this year promises to be a little different judged by some of the responses to the current standings of the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. The fact that Arrogate remains at the top in that body’s latest update, despite a trio of defeats culminating in a fifth to Gun Runner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar just a few days earlier, caused an outcry in some quarters. It is important to remember that handicap ratings tend to use the maximum rating a horse has achieved in the period under review. There are alternatives, which most ratings agencies seem not to have considered, but any statistical study will confirm that a horse’s best recent rating is generally a powerful predictor of what that horse may be about to do. Arrogate’s emphatic victory – over Gun Runner, no less – in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March is a strong candidate to be considered the best single piece of form shown in the calendar year, no matter what Arrogate did or didn’t do subsequently. It follows that he has strong

claims to be the most highly-rated horse of the year, given the traditional methodology in use. But it is not cut and dried, and, in reality, there are several horses with serious claims, and each of them will have their supporters. For an alternative view, Timeform’s leading ratings are as follows: Cracksman 136, Battaash 136 (criminally under-rated by the WBRR), Arrogate 135, Enable 134, Winx 134, and Gun Runner on 133. It is important to remember that Enable and Winx would both benefit from a sex allowance were they to meet males. This year’s Breeders’ Cup was strong, undoubtedly, but did little to make the above picture clearer, though Gun Runner (Candy Ride) was emphatically better on the day than the City Zip colt Collected (ran to 125) and West Coast (Flatter) (123), not to mention a laboured Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) (119). Gun Runner’s win was the best effort at Del Mar on Timeform ratings – a 128 against that peak 133 – followed by the Smart Strike colt Battle Of Midway in the Dirt Mile, Roy H (More Than Ready, Dirt Sprint), World Approval (Northern Afleet, Mile) and Talismanic (Medaglia D’Oro, Turf) on 125. Of those, only World Approval – rated 130 when winning the

European Timeform Rankings Leading Older Horses (14.11.17) Rating Horse Sire 132

CLOTH OF STARS

Sea The Stars

130 MARSHA

Acclamation

130 ULYSSES

Galileo

129 RIBCHESTER

Iffraaj

128

HIGHLAND REEL

Galileo

128

ORDER OF ST GEORGE

Galileo

127 LIMATO

Tagula

127 MINDING

Galileo

126 GALILEO GOLD

Paco Boy

126 IDAHO

Galileo

126

JACK HOBBS

Halling

126

JIMMY TWO TIMES Kendargent

126 MUTAKAYYEF

Sea The Stars

125 DSCHINGIS SECRET Soldier Hollow 125 DECORATED KNIGHT 125

Galileo

LIBRISA BREEZE Mount Nelson

125 PROFITABLE Invincible Spirit 125 TAAREEF 125

Kitten’s Joy

THE TIN MAN

Equiano

125 DSCHINGIS SECRET Soldier Hollow 125 TALISMANIC

Medaglia D’Oro

LEADING THREE-YEAR-OLDS 136 BATTAASH 136 CRACKSMAN 134 ENABLE 132

HARRY ANGEL

Dark Angel Frankel Nathaniel Dark Angel

127 REKINDLING High Chaparral 126

BARNEY ROY

126 CHURCHILL 125

Excelebration Galileo

BEAT THE BANK

Paco Boy

125 CARAVAGGIO

Scat Daddy

124 AL WUKAIR 124

BLUE POINT

124 BRAMETOT 124 CAPRI

Dream Ahead Shamardal Rajsaman Galileo

124 ICE BREEZE 124

WINGS OF EAGLES

124 WINTER

Nayef Pour Moi Galileo

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