O’Brien hot on Gosden’s heels and Johnston is poised to make history

Mark Johnston: on the verge of breaking the British record for the number of wins in a season. Photo: Healy Racing

A touch-and-go climax to the British trainers’ championship race, a change at the top of the world’s female jockeys rankings, and one of the best weeks of the year for Galileo are highlighted in our look at the latest TRC Global Rankings.


Who’ll be British champion trainer

Reigning champ John Gosden may have ascended to the world #1 slot this year, but he is far from certain to retain his title. Former world #1 and six-time British champion Aidan O’Brien can wipe out the £115,000 deficit with victory in the final G1 of the season, the Vertem Futurity at Doncaster on Saturday, for which he has five of the six runners, including 1/2 favourite Mogul (the only non-Ballydoyle contender is the Andrew Balding-trained Kitten’s Joy colt Kameko). 

The Irishman is sending horses to Newbury on Saturday too, but the title won’t be decided until December 31, and Gosden, should he fall behind, will still have time to hit back if he fields sufficient runners on the All-Weather in the meantime.

The UK season is also of major note for the achievements of Mark Johnston, who lies third in the prize-money table with an outstanding total of over £5 million but is way clear on win total, having already equalled the British record of 235. The Scotsman, already the winningmost British trainer in history, has more than two months to land number 236 for 2019, but he will probably do it in the next day or so. 


Top 50 sires: biggest climbers of the week

Longtime world #1 Galileo, who has been playing second fiddle to Dubawi for most of 2019 and had fallen 26 Performance Index points behind the Darley stallion by this time last week, closed that gap by six thanks to a superb double on British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday from the Aidan O’Brien pair of Magical (G1 Champion Stakes) and Kew Gardens, who edged out Stradivarius in a magnificent race for the G2 Long Distance Cup (see video below). 

This is a race that regularly produces contests of outstanding quality and surely merits an upgrade to G1. It certainly far outstrips the other staying European events at this time of year that do possess that classification.


Leading female jockeys 

We have joint world leaders, regular high-achiever Linda Meech, 39, having joined fellow Australian Jamie Kah at the top of the women’s jockey standings after a G3 victory aboard Wolfe for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott at Caulfield last week.


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