Jessica Chapel / Railbird

How International

Are the World Thoroughbred Rankings?

Once again, the final tables have a slightly depressing pro-European and pro-Turf feel, despite the obvious desire to internationalise the process. Of the 69 horses of three years and upwards rated 120 or more, over half (36) are trained in Britain, Ireland, France or Germany, while all bar 13 achieved their best performances on grass.

Blame comes in #2 among older horses.


9 Comments

Biases? Really? Which American horses, exactly, are being given short-shrift, in your view?

Posted by Tinky on January 11, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

Quality Road over Goldikova is laughable IMO.

Posted by dana on January 11, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

That would be my one quibble, as far as American horses go. I can’t see Quality Road rated so high, in general, much less rated over Goldikova at the distance.

Posted by Jessica on January 11, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

I agree with the QR point, but your post suggested that somehow U.S. (dirt) horses were given less than a fair shake. Perhaps I misunderstood…

Posted by Tinky on January 11, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

Aren’t these ratings based on a horse’s best effort? If so, then I could see Quality Road rating very favorably off his Donn Handicap win, which the domestic Beyer, ThoroGraph, and Ragozin all rated very high

Posted by EJXD2 on January 12, 2011 @ 10:30 am

I’m in agreement with EJXD2 here. The Donn was perhaps the best performance of the year. That it didn’t herald the season of a superstar might say something about something, but should in no way diminish the quality (no pun intended) of the performance.

By the way, has anyone but me noticed that in the past couple of years, American sprinters don’t appear to be all that fast anymore?

Posted by John S. on January 12, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

I have no idea what those ratings were based on but if we’re talking single performance of the year (which is kind of a crazy approach for an award, IMO) I’d put Blind Luck’s Oaks over QR’s Donn. Evening Jewel, Champagne D’oro and I think Amen Hallelujah were all G1 winners this year and I’m pretty sure Alileah, It’s Tea Time, Crisp, Jodie Slew and Quiet Temper were graded winners with Tidal Pool and Joanie’s Catch graded stakes placed. Did anyone in the Donn besides QR even win a stakes race this year (they might have, too lazy to dig that up).

I guess it gets to the heart of what one uses to constitute “the best” performance. The Oaks didn’t have brilliant fractions, but the Ogden Phipps did. I’d throw that performance by Life at Ten in mix for consideration too. I saw it in person, shocking!

Posted by dana on January 12, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

What I find delicious about Dana’s comment is that it underscores the beauty of the Eclipse Award voting system.

In Timeform’s case, it uses a single top performance as THE measuring stick.

Thoroughbred Times will shortly have an article on “Ragozin’s Horse of the Year,” which favors brilliant performances but factors in longevity as well (so even though Quality Road got top Grade 1 figure, he’s not Rag’s HotY).

Both have their merits, and there are lots of other factors as well–people’s horse, most money earned, best races against best class, etc. The Eclipse Awards Steering Committee is right not to put guidelines on how people vote.

Posted by EJXD2 on January 12, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

I work very hard to make delicious commentary!

And I should have included two other thoughts: 1) “after reading that, who isn’t excited about this year’s Distaff division?” and 2) “using the single race method, Goldikova’s BC Mile is greater than QR’s Donn IMO”

Posted by dana on January 12, 2011 @ 4:57 pm