Mike Smith’s astonishing rise up the world rankings just keeps on going

Candy Ride: the Lanesend Farm stallion, sire of Stephen Foster Handicap winner Gun Runner, is now ranked joint seventh in the world. Photo: lanesend.com

Gun Runner, Mike Smith (again), Pascal Bary and the American sires Ghostzapper and Candy Ride are the headline acts in the latest weekly update of the TRC Global Rankings.

As highlighted here last week, Smith has been unstoppable this season. Then we were reporting his rise to world #6 in the jockeys’ standings after a mighty nine-point gain week on week. Well he didn’t stay there for long. Another two Graded victories at Santa Anita have pushed him up to #4, and he is now just one point behind Javier Castellano at the top of TRC’s U.S. jockey rankings.

Bary, whose resume includes five Prix du Jockey Club wins, three Breeders’ Cups, a Dubai World Cup and an Irish Derby, returned to classic success at Chantilly on Sunday, when the Niarchos family’s Senga came out on top in the G1 Prix de Diane. That, together with the victory of the Juddmonte-owned Ice Breeze in the G2 Prix Hocquart, meant a massive nine-point gain for the 64-year-old Frenchman, who is now up from #103 to #85 in the trainers’ standings.

Senga’s rider, Stephane Pasquier, gains four points, putting him up to #66 in the jockeys’ standings, and Vincent Cheminaud, for whom Ice Breeze was one of two Group winners, gains six points, moving him to #50.

As noted by James Willoughby here, Candy Ride (up to joint #7) and Ghostzapper (up to joint #13) are among the standouts in an impressive generation of American stallions. Two Graded wins over the weekend gave Ghostzapper a six-point lift, while Candy Ride gains two points thanks largely to the stunning performance of Gun Runner in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on Saturday (see YouTube video below).

Gun Runner’s performance earned him a Racing Post Rating of 127, the best of the week anywhere, the highest of his career by some way and the fourth highest of 2017 so far - behind two from Arrogate (131 and 130) and one from Winx (130). There’s no doubt the 4-year-old was impressive - he was giving weight all round and finished seven lengths clear - but it remains to be seen if this is merely a case of over enthusiasm for the kind of victory that should have been expected anyway against unexceptional opposition.

Click here for a list of the week’s biggest points gainers.

Click here for a list of the week’s Group and Graded winners.

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