TRC algorithm puts Coolmore Partners as Britain’s real Champion Owners

Jockey William Buick and trainer Charlie Appleby (right) with Hawkbill after the colt’s victory - Godolphin’s only Group 1 win in Britain without a partner in 2016 - in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July. Photo: Steven Cargill/Racingfotos.com

Champions Day at Ascot last Saturday is the nominal end point of the official championships for jockeys and owners in Britain. While TRC Global Rankings prefer to use the entire calendar year to scrutinise its champions, it is worth commenting now on the fact that Godolphin have been given the title in the Owners category despite clearly being second best to the combined returns of three associates of Coolmore Stud, aggregated as Coolmore Partners in our rankings

As you can see via the table of final standings, John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith and spouses would have won the title if their surnames, listed in a different order under different horses, had instead been included as the same entity; this is still true even if other nominal ownerships associated with or involving Godolphin (we link Godolphin S.N.C and various other forms with their data) had been included in their own total. (It is understood that the British Horseracing Authority has proprietary reasons for this policy, but that doesn’t change the equity of the argument.)

Here is the application of the TRC algorithm to British Group-race data in 2016 only, using our rules of determining ownership collectives (the columns IV and tRPR which determine points are heavily regressed due to the small sample-size, as in our explanation of methodology):

TOP 10 UNDER THE TRC GLOBAL RANKINGS METHOD

Rank

Name

Rnrs

Runs

IV

tRPR

G1 wins

G2 wins

G3 wins

Points

1

Coolmore Partners

51

101

1.24

91.50

12

6

3

1096

2

Godolphin

65

137

0.97

92.03

1

10

6

1078

3

Juddmonte Farms

14

35

0.93

84.66

0

2

5

1006

4

Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum

25

50

0.85

85.14

0

1

4

1004

 

Al Shaqab Racing

10

19

1.09

82.96

3

2

3

1004

6

Qatar Racing Et Al

19

41

0.87

84.51

0

2

3

1000

7

Cheveley Park Stud

17

30

0.93

83.73

1

0

4

998

8

A D Spence

3

10

0.93

81.49

1

1

1

977

9

Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds

3

11

0.90

81.52

0

1

2

975

10

Ontoawinner, Strecker & Burke

1

5

0.95

80.96

2

1

0

974

OFFICIAL BRITISH OWNERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

The different Coolmore Partners groupings are highlighted

Rank

Name

Wins

Runs

Prize money (£)

1

Godolphin

119

611

4,213,524

2

Mr D Smith, Mrs J Magnier, Mr M Tabor

10

33

4,044,289

3

Al Shaqab Racing

43

188

1,842,937

4

Mr M Tabor, Mr D Smith, Mrs J Magnier

6

30

1,780,233

5

Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum

95

529

1,673,806

6

Mrs J Magnier, Mr M Tabor, Mr D Smith

6

28

1,357,124

7

Cheveley Park Stud

59

249

1,170,559

8

Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum

17

83

1,155,643

9

Khalid Abdullah (Juddmonte Farms)

42

226

1,009,314

10

HH Aga Khan

1

8

936,680


It’s fair enough to hand out championships based on whatever criteria is set before competition begins, and partnerships definitely set a conundrum for any classification of racehorse owners, but the official championship result is a distortion of events on the racecourses of Britain in 2016.

Godolphin had a good season – no argument about that – and it seems Chief Executive John Ferguson finally has the operation on the right track to recover lost ground on the dominating rivals in Ireland, and it’s not their fault the championship has been determined in the way it has.

Indeed, Godolphin won a highly creditable 17 of the available 148 Group races run so far and fully deserve a clear second spot, but Coral-Eclipse Stakes winner Hawkbill was its only top-level strike exclusive of any partner; Godolphin part-owned Group 1 Lockinge Stakes winner Belardo with Prince A A Faisal. (In this case, when two owners are not usually associated, the TRC algorithm considers the partnership a discrete entity, or else uses ‘Et Al’ in the ranking tables.)

The Coolmore Partners – consisting of the same individuals and their spouses - were surely the real champions in Britain in 2016, winning 12 of the available 34 Group 1s and a further nine Group 2s and Group 3s combined.

For the record, their Group 1 winners were Alice Springs (two), Churchill, Highland Reel, Minding (four), Order Of St George, Rhododendron, Seventh Heaven and The Gurkha.

All 12 were, of course, trained by Aidan O’Brien, who had a 13th British Group 1 winner in Cheveley Park Stakes heroine Brave Anna, who is owned by John Magnier’s mother, Mrs E.M. Stockwell.

The British trainers’ championship runs through the calendar, so O’Brien, whose record £8m-plus in prize money puts him nearly £5m clear of second-placed John Gosden, will not be declared champion until December 31.

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