• The week’s significant milestone, facts and figures
Ghaiyyath came out on top at the annual Longines World Racing Awards ceremony on Tuesday [Jan 26] when he topped their official rankings with a mark of 130 for his victory in the Juddmonte International.
The York contest has also been identified as the highest-rated G1 race of 2020 with an average of 125.25 for the first four horses home.
Trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, Ghaiyyath was a five-year-old in 2020, when the son of Dubawi – now retired to Kildangan Stud – won four races altogether. After setting a new track record at Meydan in G3 company at the Dubai Carnival, he made all for punishing victories in the Coronation Cup and Coral-Eclipse Stakes before his career-best in the Juddmonte International.
But although Ghaiyyath was dubbed the ‘world’s best racehorse’, the accolade is a misnomer. ‘World’s best single performance’ – according to a panel of official handicappers on behalf of the IFHA – would be closer to the truth.
Second on the WTRR list is Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, who earned a rating of 126 for his Breeders’ Cup Classic triumph.
12 Golden Sixty
Hong Kong: Superstar miler Golden Sixty extended his winning streak to 12 with a dramatic last-gasp success in the G1 Stewards’ Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday [Jan 24].
Hampered by jockey Vincent Ho’s slipped saddle, the five-year-old charged home down the middle of the track to beat veteran Southern Legend by a head to edge closer to Silent Witness’s Hong Kong record of 17 consecutive wins.
700 Steve Asmussen
USA: Even-money favourite Swiftsure became trainer Steve Asmussen’s 700th career winner at Oaklawn Park when he won Saturday’s [Jan 23] seventh race at the Arkansas venue under Ricardo Santana.
Dual Eclipse Award winner Asmussen, 55, is chasing his 11th Oaklawn training title. The late Bob Holthus is the only other trainer to saddle 700 winners in the track’s history.
“Am I second? Dang, I’m second in a lot of categories, aren’t I?” Asmussen joked. “Second all-time in wins, second at Oaklawn in wins, second in money earned.”
3 I Kirk
Sweden: Unbeaten at home in Sweden since April 2018, sprint star I Kirk has won his nation’s Horse of the Year title for the third year in a row. The ‘King of Je3gersro’ added three more Swedish successes to his career tally in 2020, including both the Jagersro Sprint and the Zawawi Cup.
Now seven, the little chestnut trained by Susanne Berneklint gained international recognitions when scoring on the dirt at Meydan at the 2019 Dubai Carnival.
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