The jockeys, owners, trainers and sires who led the world in 2017

American hero: Mike Smith’s total of 14 G1 wins was the best of 2017 by any U.S.-based jockey. He is pictured after one of them - aboard Caledonian Road in the Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar. Photo: Jamey Price/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup

Another great year of international racing is drawing to a close, and the turn of the year provides a suitable cut-off point to look at the aggregate win totals for 2017 Group and Graded races. Let’s see who had the most gross wins – TRC Global Rankings uses a sophisticated algorithm to weight their significance – in each of the four categories we use for our classifications.


On January 1, 2017, the top ten global jockeys as published in TRC Global Rankings for that week are reproduced on the right.

The top-notch Australian-based Kiwi rider James McDonald won’t return from an 18-month ban related to a betting scandal until next May. Irish ace Pat Smullen could not repeat his stellar 2016, but the other eight riders had productive years. Below is the top ten by aggregate Group and Graded wins for this year.

Moore’s amazing total of 58 Group and Graded wins represents a world record – it beat his second-best total since 2011 by 11 – and confirmed his status as the planet’s top jockey. He deserved an award, you would think.

In the U.S., Mike Smith had a great year at Grade 1 level, while Javier Castellano – who remains the #1 U.S. rider in the latest classifications – had another solid season. Jose Ortiz greatly impressed everyone this year.

Hugh Bowman’s exploits down under have been well documented; suffice to say, he deserves nearly every plaudit. Kerrin McEvoy confirmed his status as one of the world’s best.



Heading into 2017, the table on the right shows how TRC Global Rankings saw the power structure among owners worldwide:

And below is the table of owners who make up the top ten by Group and Graded races won at the end of the year.

Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin won more Group and Graded races in 2017 than John Magnier and his Coolmore Partners. However, it took 163 more runners to win four more races, and Coolmore won 14 more G1 races, achieving an incredible total of 32, which is really the important metric at the top.

Note that the #3, #4, #5 and #6 by wins: Hamdan Al Maktoum (Shadwell), Juddmonte Farms, Japan’s Sunday Racing and the Aga Khan were all in the top ten entering the year and are all still there in the latest classifications published this week.



The year began with TRC Global Rankings for trainers looking like the table on the right.

And the top ten by aggregate Group and Graded wins for 2017 is as in the table below.

Rather more celebrated than Ryan Moore’s achievements in the saddle, Aidan O’Brien extended the world record number of G1 wins to 28 in a stellar campaign. Incidentally, in the current rankings he has 1085 points compared with 1060 points on the equivalent day in 2016.

Remarkably, the top seven trainers in TRC Global Rankings entering the season all finished in the top ten by number of races won.

There were two important shifts in national influence. Early in the year, Darren Weir took over from Chris Waller as #1 trainer in Australia, while Andre Fabre resumed his top spot in France from Jean-Claude Rouget, whose string had some health problems.



The chart on the right shows our evaluation of the top ten sires in the world entering 2017.

And the one below shows the sires with the most Group and Graded wins 12 months later.

The sires we ranked #1, #2, #3, #4, #6 and #7 finished #1, #5, #2, #6 and #10 by number of wins globally. It’s worth acknowledging we were a shade late to the Snitzel party, but now Australia’s champion sire sits at #7 in this week’s classifications.

Deep Impact slipped slightly in the power structure, mainly due to the number of great sons he has produced who are now successful sires themselves. It is way, way too soon to be writing the Japanese great off, however, as the emergence of one of the most exciting racehorses seen for a while, Danon Premium, reminds us. Coupled with Saxon Warrior, O’Brien impressive G1 Racing Post Trophy winner, Deep Impact has two of the most promising 3-year-olds around for 2018.

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