A Triple Crown winner, a fairytale Golden Slipper winner and a mighty Arc contender took many of the headlines in international racing last week, but they must all bow down to another fabulous performance by the wondrous Winx.
The wondermare cruised through sapping heavy ground at Rosehill on Saturday to win the G1 George Ryder by seven and a quarter lengths. It earned trainer Chris Waller’s five-year-old a Racing Post Rating of 130, a world-leading mark for 2017, surpassing even the 128 figure achieved by Arrogate in the Pegasus World Cup in Miami in January.
Indeed it will be quite something if the Bob Baffert-trained 4-year-old can get near Winx’s number when he contests the other World Cup in Dubai this Saturday.
Watch the YouTube video of Winx’s victory below. These are G1 winners being brushed aside by the daughter of the late Street Cry (who, incidentally, is now up to ninth in TRC’s world sires’ rankings).
December’s Arima Kinen winner Satono Diamond isn’t quite a sparkling as the mare, but this tough, impressive 4-year-old ran to an RPR of 124 (the second highest turf rating of the year) when winning a G2 at Hanshin on Sunday. He may well have what it takes to end Japan’s desperate wait for an Arc de Triomphe winner.
The son of Deep Impact is as low as 9-1 now for the great race in Paris in October. Bear his performance in mind when you watch potential rivals like Highland Reel and Postponed in Saturday’s Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.
Deep Impact, incidentally, is now just three points behind Galileo at the top of the world sires’ rankings.
Above is a YouTube video of Saturday's Longines Golden Slipper, the world’s richest 2-year-old race, which proved you don’t always need to be a multi-millionaire to make it big in racing. The Rosehill spectacular went to She Will Reign, a filly who cost just A$20,000 and has plunged her syndicate of mainly first-time owners into a world they could barely have dreamed about.
Some of the biggest headlines this week have been reserved for Rapper Dragon, who became the first horse to complete Hong Kong’s Triple Crown when he won the Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin on Sunday (see Youtube video below).
Jockey Joao Moreira described it as “the biggest moment of my career”, but unfortunately for him it didn’t do him any good at all in the TRC Global Rankings.
The trouble is that none of the races in this particular Triple Crown (which is for 4-year-olds) is recognised by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) as a Group or Graded race - because each is restricted to horses trained in Hong Kong. So they cannot count towards points in our rankings system.
Moreira suffered a similar fate just two weeks ago, when he won eight races on one card at Sha Tin but lost ground in the rankings because none of them was a Group race.
‘Magic Man’, who remains world-ranked seven, will be riding in plenty of Group races this weekend, though. He has five rides at Meydan on Saturday on a card that has not only attracted some of the best horses in the world but also many of the best jockeys. Indeed, as you can see from the table below, it is perhaps the strongest gathering of top riders all year, apart possibly from at the Breeders’ Cup.
The Dubai card features seven of the top ten jockeys in the TRC Global Rankings, including three Americans, three Europeans - and Moreira.
Only Aussie Hugh Bowman, Japan-based Italian Mirco Demuro and the out-of-action James McDonald are missing from the top ten.
THE 25 HIGHEST RANKED JOCKEYS RIDING AT MEYDAN ON SATURDAY
Rides on WC card
Highland Reel (Sheema Classic) 4-1
Big Orange (Dubai Gold Cup) 5-1
Keen Ice (Dubai World Cup) 20-1
Thunder Snow (UAE Derby) 2-1
Heartbreak City (Dubai Gold Cup) 13-2
Arrogate (Dubai World Cup) 2-5
Gun Runner (Dubai World Cup) 7-1
Ribchester (Dubai Turf) 3-1
Master Plan (UAE Derby) 6-1
Epicharis (UAE Derby) 11-2
Mind Your Biscuits (Golden Shaheen) 3-1
Kafuji Take (Godolphin MIle) 14-1
Postponed (Sheema Classic) 15-8
Seventh Heaven (Sheema Classic) 9-1
Notlistenin’tome (Golden Shaheen) 16-1
Heshem (Dubai Turf) 20-1
Heavy Metal (Godolphin Mile) 8-1
Hoppertunity (Dubai World Cup) 16-1
Beautiful Romance (Dubai Gold Cup) 11-2
Quest For More (Dubai Gold Cup) 8-1
Mondialiste (Dubai Turf) 16-1
Ertijaal (Al Quoz Sprint) 6-4
Baccarat (Al Quoz Sprint) 20-1
Adrie de Vries
Prize Money (Sheema Classic) 8-1
Sheikhzayedroad (Dubai Gold Cup) 9-1
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.