Fittingly, with such a major day coming up down under on Saturday – Winx returns to the fray in the G2 The Star Apollo Stakes over seven furlongs at Randwick and some of the leaders of the new generation of top Aussie sprinters contest the A$750,000 G1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington – it was Australia that attracted much of James Willoughby’s attention when he sat down to hand out the TRC Global Rankings Performers of the Week awards for the seven days that ended on Sunday.
TRC JOCKEY OF THE WEEK
Following the nomination of Blake Shinn (+2pts, #38 from #40), his comeback from injury gained further momentum with a G2 win in the Yarraman Park Breeders Classic at Warwick Farm. Fellow Australian rider DAMIAN LANE (+6pts, #19 from #25) gets this week’s nod hands down, however, after a G2 double at Caulfield.
Lane guided home Nature Strip in the Rubiton Stakes for Chris Waller and Lyre for Anthony Freedman in the Blue Diamond Prelude. In the last 365 days, Lane ranks #1 among Australian-based riders for Group wins (23) and only nine jockeys have ridden more globally, as shown in the table:
TRC OWNER OF THE WEEK
We featured Godolphin heavily in this space last week and three more wins (Australia-2, UAE-1) cuts the gap to Coolmore Partners to just five points on our scale. Though not in the same league in terms of global reach, Japan’s DANOX CO LTD (+3pts, #42 from #54) has also had a good time of it lately. Danon Kingly’s G3 Kyodo News Hail win at Tokyo was their fifith in the last seven runners.
Masahiro Noda’s outfit uses the prefix ‘ Danon’ for all its horses. Its best runners are Danon Premium – winner of last year’s G1 Tokyo Yushun but not in the same form since – and this term’s G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies’ heroine Danon Fantasy. A complete list of their winners in the three-year rankings window is given in the table:
TRC TRAINER OF THE WEEK
There were training doubles for Simon Callaghan (+6pts, #65 from 82) in the USA and MickPrice in Australia (+4pts, #40 from #44) but the award goes to another Australian, ANTHONYFREEDMAN (+8pts, #34 from #44). A scion of the family training dynasty, Freedman saddled the winner of both divisions of the Blue Diamond Prelude races at Caulfield.
Freedman, assisted by brother Lee since 2014, has spearheaded the family’s Flemington training base now for eight years. The chart of his ranking points – an index of performance placed into a neutral context for all trainers worldwide – indicates the trajectory of his success. This week, he breaks into the world’s top 35 for the first time.
Note that the trainer confirms that #36 Ben Melham will stick with the unbeaten colt I Am Immortal and #113 Luke Currie take over from #19 Damian Lane on the filly Lyre when both Prelude winners take their chance in the main events on February 23.
TRC SIRE OF THE WEEK
While never playing favouritism with any competitor, it is especially pleasing to herald another good week for Yarraman Park stalwart I AM INVINCIBLE (+3pts, #3 from #4) given the huge figure (1049pts) we have on him in our stallion rankings. He adds further data to bolster his case via a pair of G3 wins at Caulfield in the Kevin Hayes Stakes and the Blue Diamond Prelude.
It was in the rankings of six months ago that I Am Invincible entered our global top ten – an up-to-the-minute assessment of Group-race winning potential – and since then his stock have continued to thrive in Australia.
There is a lot more to TRC Global Rankings than totting up winners, of course, but only the true leviathans of stallions – #2 Galileo, #1 Dubawi and #6 Deep Impact – have got more Group/Graded winners in the last 365 days.
We flagged up I Am Invincible as early as March, 2017 – nearly two years ago – as a stallion of global significance. He has proved that alright.
Click here for a list of all last week’s biggest TRC Global Rankings points gainers.
Click here for a list of all the week’s Group and Graded winners