Two mega-rich ungraded races we just can’t afford to ignore

Derby winner: the prestigious Hong Kong Derby is not a G1, but we are now counting it as such - which means Frankie Lor is in the world top 50 after having had just 29 runners in Group races. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club

TRC Global Rankings is committed to making the best possible predictions. After all, this is the only way to make rankings that are meaningful. Other rankings that are abstracted from an iterative process of learning are just an exercise in playing with numbers.

To this end, sometimes we need to use races outside the usual Group and Graded classifications. Often, these races are richly endowed affairs that will eventually be granted status by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

This week, we added two such contests: the Hong Kong Derby from Sha Tin and the All Star Mile from Flemington in Australia. These races provide vital extra data for our rankings algorithm.

 

Hong Kong Derby, Sha Tin

The culmination of a three-race ungraded series – all of which have been added to TRC Global Rankings because of their quality – for 4-year-olds, the Hong Kong Derby was worth more than £1m to the winner. It went to a son of world #15 Pierro in Furore, winner of the Hong Kong Classic Mile in January, and again ridden by #3 Hugh Bowman for the hugely promising #50 Frankie Lor.

Lor, who also saddled the fourth-placed Dark Dream, continued his march up the rankings with an 8pt gain – enough to reach the top 50 after only 29 runners in Group races. He has won all three additional races, and we simply could not frame his true standing in the highly competitive Hong Kong racing scene without the additional data. The first four finishers are shown in the table.

All Star Mile, Flemington

Billed as “a new concept in Victorian Thoroughbred Racing”, the All Star Mile field was assembled according to votes cast by the fans. Worth more than £1.2m to the winner, it could not have garnered a more storied winner in the shape of Tasmanian super filly Mystic Journey, the pride of owner Wayne Roser, trainer Adam Trinder and again superbly ridden by Anthony Darmanin.

A rags-to-riches story to end all similar tales at just A$11,000, Mystic Journey won the G1 Australian Guineas again at Flemington on her previous start. The new world #207 Roser gains 4pts, while #186 Trinder gains 7pts and #152 Darmanin the same.

The result of the All Star Mile is given in the table. Filling the places were horses trained for owners Godolphin by James Cummings. Added to their other exploits, this was significant, as you’ll see here.

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