Enable, Crystal Ocean And Waldgeist Share Best Honours But Numbers Are Low

 Jan 23 2020

In what was a distinctly underwhelming Flat season judged on numbers, Prix du Jockey Club hero Sottsass has been revealed to be the poorest number-one three-year-old since the inaugural international classifications in 1977.

The official champions of 2019 were unveiled in London at the Longines World's Best Racehorse Awards, during which the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe – in which the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist narrowly denied Enable an historic third consecutive success – was named the world's top race for the fourth time in five years.

Enable, Waldgeist and Crystal Ocean all finished their five-year-old season with an official rating of 128, matching the former benchmark low of Rock Of Gibraltar in 2002.

Crystal Ocean was prepared by Sir Michael Stoute to earn his highest mark in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, in which he was beaten a neck by Enable when carrying 3lb more due to the sport's sex allowance, which is not built into the Longines rankings.

Enable's 128 was secured when she landed the Yorkshire Oaks, while Waldgeist – who had finished third to Enable and Crystal Ocean in the King George – soared to his personal best mark by thwarting Enable at Longchamp.

Enable stays in training with John Gosden as a six-year-old but Crystal Ocean and Waldgeist have both been retired.

Star Hong Kong miler Beauty Generation was next in the Longines list on 127, followed by Japan's Lys Gracieux – a sensational winner of the Arima Kinen in late December – America's Vino Rosso and British pair Battaash and Ghaiyyath, who were all awarded 126 and co-fifth position.

Last year's joint world champion Winx, who retired following her 33rd consecutive victory in April, was this time bracketed in ninth on 125, alongside Benbatl and Glory Vase.

Down in co-16th was the world's leading three-year-old Sottsass, whose 123 was collected for his Arc third behind Waldgeist and Enable. 

No champion three-year-old had ever previously rated below 125, while Roaring Lion, Cracksman and Arrogate, division leaders of the Classic crop in 2018, 2017 and 2016, finished their seasons on 127, 130 and 134 respectively.

Overall, 296 horses, trained in 17 different countries were rated 115 or higher in 2019, compared to 332 from the same number of countries in 2018.

- Racing Post

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