Do these ratings really matter?

First up let me say I’m no handicapper. So comparing lines of concentric form, across all of the major racing nations of the world, to come up with the list of top horses is not something I’m particularly qualified to question.  However…

Of course the ratings provide a guide to each equine generation, and they give us plenty to discuss – was one horse really better than the other? From that perspective alone they provide interest.

Looking down the list of 2017’s best horses I question whether it really matters. What I can say is simply here is a list of great horses. Arrogate, Winx, Gun Runner, Cracksman, Enable, Ulysses and so on. Quality.

Interesting that Arrogate, rightly the top horse in 2016, is rated the top horse again in 2017. He had quite a strange year, easily winning the Pegasus at the beginning of the year before that breathtaking performance in the Dubai World Cup. But back in the US he was never the same horse, beaten three times including when I saw him in the Breeders Cup Classic. Yet he is still rated 3lbs above Gun Runner who was such a great winner at Del Mar (and won every race he had in 2017 other than the Dubai World Cup).

Not surprisingly Aidan O’Brien dominated the 2 year old rankings. Middle Park & Dewhurst winner US Navy Flag was the champion juvenile, 3lb clear of stablemate and current Derby favourite Saxon Warrior. O’Brien is responsible for no fewer than 15 of the 45 horses given a rating of 110 or over, so I guess we can look forward to another year of Ballydoyle domination.

The other table I found fascinating was the ranking of the world’s best races – based on the average rating of the horses running. The Arc was the clear winner, ahead of the King George, which must be a good shot in the arm for the Ascot mid summer showpiece. Of the top 11 races four were in England (3 at Ascot). As well as the King George there was also the Juddmonte international, Prince of Wales and Champion Stakes

All the details of the ratings are here. You could spend hours looking at them. Enjoy!

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