By Nicholas Godfrey
GB: Palace Pier’s brilliant Lockinge Stakes victory at Newbury on Saturday [May 15] has catapulted the John & Thady Gosden-trained miler to the #1 spot in the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary’s World Rankings.
Ridden by an ultra-confident Frankie Dettori, the four-year-old left onlookers reaching for superlatives as he thrashed his G1 rivals, sauntering home from progressive filly Lady Bowthorpe by a length and a half away with the remainder more than five lengths behind.
“He’s a beast – I love him,” said Dettori after the race. “He’s a true champion and I love him so much.”
A son of Gosden’s star miler Kingman, Palace Pier won a pair of G1s last season with the St James’s Palace Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois before making a winning reappearance with an eight-length romp in the G2 Bet365 Mile at Sandown last month. He has won seven of his eight career starts.
Now odds-on favourite for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, Palace Pier earned a 222pt boost for a total of 2,112 on the exclusive TRC Global Rankings – enough to promote him to top spot from last week’s No. 11.
Palace Pier replaces Japanese superstar Almond Eye, who automatically drops off the chart as she has not run in the last 150 days. Hong Kong star Golden Sixty (2,100pts) retains the #2, with globe-trotting Mishriff (2,048) next up, narrowly ahead of Japan’s Gran Alegria (2,040), who won her fifth G1 in Tokyo last weekend.
Dettori retains pole position on the jockeys’ lists ahead of JRA champ Christophe Lemaire, while the Gosdens move up a place to #2 behind US-based Chad Brown among trainers. AIdan O’Brien is #3.
Unlike traditional methods of racehorse rankings, the TRC Global Rankings are a measure of an individual’s level of achievement over a rolling three-year period.
Since 2014, TRC Global Rankings have provided a principled hierarchy of the leading jockeys, trainers, owners and sires using statistical learning techniques.
Two years in the gestation, racehorse rankings were published for the first time in August 2020 and can be compared to similar exercises in other sports, like the golf’s world rankings or the ATP rankings in tennis.
Under the traditional IFHA-backed system, handicappers assign ratings for every run a horse makes, then use the best one to establish its place in an overall classification.
The annual Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, for instance, could more accurately be described as the ‘World’s Best Racehorse Performances’ because they use one number per horse to infer a hierarchy – with no reference to other performances which may support the assessment.
On that basis, there is also a new world leader for 2021 in the shape of Australia’s top sprinter Nature Strip, awarded an official mark of 123 for his victory in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 10. Nature Strip is #8 on the TRC chart.
The Chris Waller-trained six-year-old beat Masked Crusader by two lengths in a race where the first five home were all G1 winners to earn the mark from the IFHA-sanctioned panel and thereby claim first place in the list which covers the period Jan 1-May 9. Next update is due on June 10.