It is time for horse racing’s version of Oktoberfest – though you have to supply the drinks. The tenth month of the year is really the opening of the international racing season proper; it’s a collision of many of the world’s most important races in East and West, North and South.
In Europe, the climax of the season sees the Arc meeting at ParisLongchamp and British Champions’ Day at Ascot, while, in the U.S. and Canada, the final pieces of the jigsaw will fall into place for the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita in November.
Meanwhile, the Japanese season is just getting into stride and the Autumn Tenno Sho is slated at Tokyo. In Australia, a host of important prizes warm-up races for the Melbourne Cup will be contested, and the Cox Flate at Flemington takes centre stage.
So, October 1 provides a natural accounting day for TRC Global Rankings, a chance to weight up just what has changed in each category in the last 12 months. For each, we will consider the trajectory of the top 15 performers by aggregate wins in the last 12 months.
TRC Global Ranking indices are directly comparable from one year to the next, providing a unique measure of how a competitor measures up to their own previous standard. It is important to note that the red cells in the tables do not constitute failure or even underperformance but in many cases simply regression to the mean.
Galileo, for instance, is a less dominant sire than he was. This is undeniable for anyone actually keeping score, rather than making subjective assessments according to their predisposition. But, he is still a brilliant sire. Nowadays, sons and daughters of Galileo have to compete with the stock of Dubawi, Sea The Stars, Frankel and several other top-notch sires in increasing numbers, and Galileo’s daughters of the previous generation serve to help other stallions out in this one.
It’s been the year of Shamardal.
The retired Blue Point’s G1 Royal Ascot sprint double was the highlight, but the future is bright too: the son of Giant’s Causeway is responsible for two of Europe’s finest 2-year-olds in Pinatubo and Earthlight.
In Japan, the brilliant sprinter Lord Kanaloa is making up into just as good a sire. He has Almond Eye and Saturnalia to his credit; the pair are on target for a potential clash in the aforementioned Autumn Tenno Sho.
You can find all the details of the world’s top performers with clickable links in our tables, such as the Jockeys one here, which provide the user with drilldowns, such as James Doyle’s here. You can sort by any of several criteria, including recency.
At 48 years old, Frankie Dettori is having his finest season – and it is not over yet. In the last 12 months, he has dominated the Group 1 scene in Europe, adding a stellar 39pts to his Performance Index and breaking the 1100 barrier we thought only Ryan Moore was in a position to do.
In the U.S., Jose Ortiz and Irad Ortiz Jr have had 51 Graded winners between them. Only in the last couple of weeks has Irad eclipse his brother in our rankings, and only by one place at that. Again, we need to stress that Jose is actually riding as well as ever.
James McDonald has frequently made the pages of TRC Global Rankings, but not always for reasons related to ranking. Having returned from his suspension, he has reminded everyone that he is one of the world’s finest riders.
William Buick, Godolphin’s jockey in Britain, is another to have made a pleasing return in this top 15 by wins, in his case from lingering symptoms from a concussion.
France is well stocked for young riding talent, and gains have been made by both Mickael Barzalona and Pierre-Charles Boudot since last October. The latter, in particular, as long impressed us.
In the top 15 trainers by aggregate wins shown here, Newmarket’s John Gosden has made the greatest strides. He is now our world #1. But it is close. Charlie Appleby and, in particular, ChadBrown have both had the same honour in the period we are focussing on here.
Appleby can get massive efforts out of horses like Ghaiyyath and Pinatubo and can still rank higher if he can just become a shade more productive in terms of volume, though he is sharing the Godolphin string in Newmarket with Saeed bin Suroor.
The Godolphin revival is not just down to Appleby, mind. In Australia, James Cummings is firmly on the up. His horses seem to gain in toughness through a campaign – the hallmark of a tremendous conditioner.
In the U.S., Brown has taken his act Stateside to another level and replaced Bob Baffert as the country’s highest-ranked trainer. Brad Cox is a trainer we are following closely and he continues to climb.
The last 12 months has seen a revival in Mike De Kock’s numbers, even though he doesn’t dominate in Dubai any more. Going forward, the South African stalwart has a serious rival in Justin Snaith to contend with, however. We have not included Snaith’s data here because he is outside the top 15 in aggregate wins, but this time last year he was #48 with an Index of 970 points and now he stands #18 on 993 points. That is impressive stuff, nearly in lockstep with De Kock.
There is no doubt that Godolphin have their house in order. Two great young trainers in Charlie Appleby and James Cummings are powering their success in Europe and Australia, respectively, while dependable Saeed bin Suroor is also making significant contributions, particularly domestically in the UAE with the dual Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow.
U.S. industrialist Peter Brant is having a ton of success now, and not just in the U.S., where the tip-top filly Sistercharlie carries his green colours with conspicuous success. Brant also has a big runner in the forthcoming Arc at ParisLongchamp with Sottsass, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget.
Continued success from the likes of clever operations like Klaravich Stakes and Madaket Stables come as no surprise, while Danox Co Ltd is the Japanese concern whose horses carry the ‘Danon’ nomenclature.