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Blowing up the latest world rankings that place Winx in third

Winx at Moonee Valley.(AAP Image/Joe Castro)
Roar Guru
11th November, 2016
29

Winx ranked third to Arrogate and California Chrome in the latest release of the official IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Associations) racehorse rankings.

Her ranking of 130 is two points below Black Caviar’s highest. She is three points behind California Chrome and four points behind Breeders Cup champion, Arrogate.

It’s a joke, and I’ll explain why.

We see official international handicappers seemingly pandering to jurisdictions and breeders making sure stallions rule the roost. They can’t have a southern hemisphere with the top horse ranking and a mare at that. One thing letting the antipodes have the world’s best sprinter but not the best of the best.

The rating of Arrogate as the world’s best by beating California Chrome in the Breeder’s Cup is very questionable. We saw one of the most tactically brilliant rides ever executed on a racecourse. Mike Smith, the winningest jockey in Breeder’s Cup history, made another Hall-of-Famer Victor Espinosa look like a claiming apprentice.

The Mike Smith ride deserves an article of it’s own but not here. The Breeder’s Cup time was two seconds outside the course record, on a day times were very good. My benchmarks for this race came nowhere near the flowery numbers dished out by the IFHA handicap board.

I restate, the race-time and the splits for the Breeders Cup were very ordinary.

The third horse Keen Ice rated 122 last year winning the Travers from a field that included a soft American Pharoah. Keen Ice has performed no better than 113 since that surprise, one-off effort. Frosted ran to his normal mark with his dramatic Metropolitan (US) and Whitney wins a seemingly fading into the past. His 126 for the Met was ridiculous to start anyway.

Let’s use the handicapper’s own current numbers to see were Winx’s mark should be.

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Formline – 1) Highland Reel who won the Breeders Cup Turf on the same Santa Anita card as Arrogate/Chrome currently rates 123. Isn’t this the horse Winx mauled by 4.5 lengths (9 points) in course record time in last year’s Cox Plate?

I had Highland Reel rated better than Adelaide when he landed here in 2015 and had him a couple of points higher when leaving. My rating was confirmed a few weeks later in an International on Hong Kong’s biggest raceday. He has consistently raced in this range though 2016.

Formline – 2) Hartnell rates 123 off his best Spring performance. This is the horse that Winx has beaten every time they met and the horses she crushed in the Cox by eight lengths (10-16 points). His consistent rating range was confirmed many times during our spring through several formlines.

The strength of the Cox Plate’s form continues to hold consistent ratings.

So the only way the IFHA handicappers had to downgrade Winx’s rating is to put-forward the illusionary notion that horses behind her did not run to form. There are countless form-lines that suggest the opposite to this biased reasoning.

The IFHA top ten were as follows.

1 Arrogate (USA) 134 USA
2 California Chrome (USA) 133 USA
3 Winx (AUS) 130 AUS
4 A Shin Hikari (JPN) 129 JPN
4 Almanzor (FR) 129 FR
6 Frosted (USA) 126 USA
7 Maurice (JPN) 124 JPN
7 Postponed (IRE) 124 GB
7 Werther (NZ) 124 HK

By their logic could you imagine this handicap (without mare’s weight allowance) over 2000m

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The Best of the Best Stakes (2000 metres, Racetrack — who cares?)

Arrogate 58.0 kg
California Chrome 57.5 kg
Winx 56.0 kg.

Go and ask a credible international oddsmaker to frame above market on raw form. Professional market framers would have Winx at $1.65.

Formguide for The Best of the Best Stakes is …

Winx has sustained speed – acceleration into a quickening pace – capable of record times – tenacious will to win.

California Chrome – One of the best between 1400-1900 metres – high cruising speed – acceleration into a quickening pace – but soft in the last 100m of a 2000 metres race. I have mentioned this observation here several times in the past and there is a body of evidence to support this form-line.

Arrogate – Quickly emerged from U.S. Allowance company to Group 1 level – still untested under sustained pressure but his Breeders Cup determination has given a positive indication – a high cruising speed – broke Secretariat’s 40-year-old record with victory in the sub-par ‘summer derby’, the 2016 Travers Stakes.

I agree with Winx’s $1.65 assessment. She would win this race 60 times out of a hundred.

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For the record, my rating of the Breeder’s Cup gave Arrogate and California Chrome a 130 benchmark.

Below are my current world estimations …

1 California Chrome (USA) 133 USA
1 Winx (AUS) 133 AUS
3 Arrogate (USA) 130 USA
4 Almanzor (FR) 129 FR
5 A Shin Hikari (JPN) 127 JPN
6 Beholder (USA) 126 US
7 Songbird (USA) 125 US
7 Maurice (JPN) 124 JPN
7 Postponed (IRE) 124 GB
7 Found (IRE) 123 IRE
7 Highland Reel (IRE) 123 IRE

The sad thing about Winx’s rubbish official rating is that she is so dominant here, hardly a chance remains for here to actually re-achieve the ranking she should have of 133/134.

These international ratings are a historical document and up until about three years ago was a most reliable document where ratings could be confirmed through several form-lines.

These days you can have a horse declared the world’s best for two questioned-marked performances.

Arrogate maybe a great in the making and if he had raced California Chrome and achieved the same result then his ranking is fair. But he didn’t. His jockey rode one of the greatest tactical races ever.

Unfortunately, Winx is the real champion missing out on her place in racing history.

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