Pletcher back up to world #6 after Gulfstream Park stakes double

Makfi, pictured at Westbury Stud in New Zealand, has climbed into the top 50 in the world sires’ rankings. He has recently been sold to stand in Japan. Photo:

American trainer Todd Pletcher and on-the-move stallion Makfi, one of the few racehorses to get the better of the mighty Goldikova on the track, are the eyecatching climbers as the TRC Global Rankings get their weekly update this morning.

Pletcher is back up from #7 to #6 in the world trainers’ standings, flip-flopping with Aussie Darren Weir, after winning 25 percent of the races that counted towards the rankings last week - that’s two Grade 3s at Gulfstream Park (with Sandiva and Tommy Macho).

In fact, Tommy Macho’s easy victory in Saturday’s Hal’s Hope Stakes was the outstanding performance among the eight Group or Graded contests around the world, earning a Racing Post Rating of 116. It helped Pletcher to a two-point gain over the week, enough not only to leapfrog Weir but also to close within a point of fifth-ranked John Gosden.

Watch for the in-form Pletcher to overtake Gosden fairly soon with the Briton unlikely to have any Group or Graded runners for at least two months, and the U.S. scene still active, particularly with the Pegasus World Cup coming up next week. Weir, though, is going to be increasingly a factor as the Australian Group-race calendar hits full swing in February.

Tommy Macho’s victory is also largely responsible for his sire, Macho Uno, being the biggest points gainer on the TRC rankings last week. The son of Holy Bull climbs 68 places to #140 in the sires’ standings after a seven-point gain. Macho Uno stands at Adena Springs in Kentucky.

Makfi is a little higher up the standings just now, especially after a four-point gain last week thanks to two good results down under.

The victory of his daughter Imposing Lass in a G3 at Gosford, New South Wales, on Friday, and the second of his son Savile Row, beaten a nose in the week’s only G1, the Randwick Meats Levin Classic, at Trentham, New Zealand, on Saturday, lifts him 17 places to #47.

Makfi, who was trained by Mikel Delzangles in France to win the English 2000 Guineas and the Prix Jacques le Marois (in which he beat Goldikova) in 2010, looks to have been a shrewd purchase by the Japanese Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association last October. The son of the world’s #2 stallion, Dubawi, has sired G1 winners in Australia and France. He was sold by Qatar Bloodstock and takes up stallion duties in Japan this year after standing first in England and more recently in France, and shuttling to Westbury Stud in New Zealand.

The Trentham G1 was won by Hall Of Fame, a son of Savabeel, partnered by two-time NZ champion jockey Opie Bosson, whose four-point gain moves him up from 59 to 54 in the jockeys’ standings. Savabeel himself gains two points and climbs from 115 to 99.

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

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