Arc Victory Propels Hurricane Run to Top of World Rankings

Edited press release
Hurricane Run stamped himself the top racehorse of 2005 so far with an impressive success in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-Lucien Barrière (Fr-I) at Longchamp on Oct. 2.

Overcoming trouble in the race, the 3-year-old whose only defeat in seven starts to date came when he went down by a neck in the group I Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly in June, stormed clear to put up the highest rated performance of the year thus far (130), and jump to the top of the IFHA's list of the world's leading horses.

In so doing, Hurricane Run deposed the now retired Ghostzapper, the highest-ranked horse in the world in 2004, who had previously also topped the list throughout 2005. However, Ghostzapper's sparkling victory in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park in May, for which he was allocated a mark of 128, puts him in clear second spot in the latest listings, and maintains his position as the top older horse.

Third place is shared by Azamour and Westerner, who are both rated 126.

Azamour earned his rating with his win in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I) run at Newbury in July, his first attempt at 1 1/2 miles. Already the top stayer, Westerner, whose run of six successive victories in group races was halted in the Grosser Volkswagen Preis von Baden (Ger-I) in September, demonstrated his ability at that shorter trip by improving his rating to 126 in finishing a fine second to Hurricane Run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

There is a triple tie for fifth spot between Afleet Alex, Motivator and Shamardal, all of whom are rated 125.

Afleet Alex, winner of two of the three legs of the American Triple Crown -- the Preakness Stakes (gr. 1) and the Belmont Stakes (gr.1), is currently the leading 3-year-old on dirt on the strength of his 4 3/4-length win in the Preakness.

Motivator came home only fifth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Lucien Barriere, the first time he had failed to finish in the first two, but earned his rating with his five length victory in the Vodafone Derby (Eng-I) at Epsom in June at 1 1/2 miles.

Unbeaten on Turf, Shamardal put up his finest performance when winning the St James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) over a mile at York in June. Among his other victories, he was also successful in the Prix du Jockey Club, in which he became the first and, so far, the only horse to defeat Hurricane Run Unfortunately, Shamardal later suffered an injury in training and, like Ghostzapper, he has now been retired.

Top older miler on Turf is Starcraft. Formerly a leading performer in New Zealand and Australia, Starcraft has won two of the top European group I mile races in his last two starts -- the Netjets Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and the Barclays PLC Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Newmarket, both in September, earning a rating of 124, and a share of eighth place in the rankings.

Silent Witness maintains his position as the leading sprinter on a mark of 123, which he achieved in winning the Chairman's Sprint Prize (HK-I) at Sha Tin in April over six furlongs. Most recently, he ran to a similar level in taking the Sprinters Stakes (Jpn-I) at Nakayama.

Although tasting defeat for the first time, after nine straight wins, in the group I Haras de Fresnay-le Buffard-Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August, Divine Proportions remains the highest ranked filly in the list, with a rating of 122. Now retired, Divine Proportions earned her rating with her five length victory in the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (FR-I) at Longchamp in May.

The list of the World's Leading Horses will be published five times this year to give updates on the leading performers worldwide. These listings will be produced in January (following the December WTRR Conference), April (following the Dubai World Cup meeting), August (following the July WTRR Conference), October (following the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting) and November (following the Breeders' Cup meeting). These assessments will also appear on the IFHA website. To merit inclusion, a horse must have achieved its rating within the previous six/seven months.

The next listing will be published early in November.

World Thoroughbred Rankings

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