The many outstanding performances by Australian Thoroughbreds, both domestic and abroad, have been officially crowned in Australia.
The 2006-2007 ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) Classifications were released, reflecting the best individual performances by Southern Hemisphere-bred horses in the past 12 months.
The ratings were headed by global sprinters Miss Andretti and Takeover Target, middle distance stars El Segundo and Pompeii Ruler, and Japanese staying ace Delta Blues, winner of the 2006 Melbourne Cup (Aus-I). All five achieved a season peak rating of 120.
Danehill’s son Darci Brahma delivered the best performance by a New Zealand horse during the season. He rated 115 in winning the Sharp Telegraph Handicap (NZ-I) at Trentham this January and has since been retired to stud.
The rating is generated by senior handicappers representing the Principal Racing Authorities of Australia and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing. For inclusion in the annual classifications, a horse must have finished in the first six placings in a Group race or the first four placings at Listed race level. Horses aged 3 years and older that have achieved a rating of 100 or higher, and juveniles with individual performance ratings of 95 and higher, are included in the listings.
In releasing the listings, the committee recognized most discussion would focus on two areas: The comparative ratings of superstar 3-year-old fillies Gold Edition (115) and Miss Finland (114); and the 2-year-old listings, in which the leading filly, Forensics, was rated at 107 for her performance in winning the Golden Slipper. As a consequence, the runner-up in the race, Zizou, rated 110 to head the overall 2-year-old category.
Meurice, who was three-quarters of a length behind Zizou in third place, rated 108, marginally superior to his subsequent performances in running second to Camarilla in the Sires Produce Stakes and his win over Solo Flyer in the AJC Champagne Stakes.
The committee said the listings do not attempt to identify the champion overall performer in each category, nor do they reflect an accumulation of performances during the season. The ratings give a numeric value to an individual performance.
The classifications represent a horse’s optimum performance recorded in a specific event during the season and do not take into account any deterioration in performance levels at any subsequent runs.
Gold Edition attained a rating of 115 for her close second against older horses in the group I Newmarket Handicap. In that contest she was beaten a head by champion sprinter Miss Andretti, carrying just 0.5 kg less when compared to weight for age.
Dual group I winner Undue, who ran at level weights with Gold Edition (compared to WFA), was a neck behind in third place. The race generated individual ratings of 117 for Miss Andretti, 115 for Gold Edition, and 115 for Undue. Subsequent group I winner Magnus was a close fourth, carrying 3 kg less than Gold Edition (compared to WFA).
Miss Finland took a season high rating of 114 for her win at level weights over Tuesday’s Joy and Anamato in the group I VRC Oaks.
In the champion filly’s only Group I win against colts for the season, Miss Finland carried 2.5 kg less than her male counterparts in narrowly beating Casino Prince and Jokers Wild in the 3-year-old Australian Guineas.
In her two runs against older horses, Miss Finland had little luck and as a consequence finished sixth in the W.S. Cox Plate (Aust-I) and fourth in the C.F. Orr Stakes. In both races, her performance rating also reflected the fact she carried 2.5 kg less than her male counterparts for her sex allowance.
In assessing the leading 2-year-old performances, the committee concluded the 2007 Golden Slipper represented the strongest contest of the season, with only subsequent AJC Sires Produce Stakes winner Camarilla not contesting the race.