January 12, 2004 at 15:41 #4005marlingMember
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Doubtless Mr Davies may beg to differ….;)
<br>A few shockers from International Classifications Committee
By ALAN SHUBACK
The International Classification Committee sent shock waves through the racing world on Monday with their announcement in London of Hawk Wing as the world’s highest rated horse of 2003.
An 11-length winner of the one-mile Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 17, the Aidan O’Brien-trained son of Woodman received a rating of 133 for that effort. That makes him the champion older horse and best miler in the world as well. Meanwhile, French Derby and Arc winner Dalakhani, most people’s idea of racing’s world champion, was rated at 132, making him the highest ranking 3-year-old and the highweight in the long distance category.
That Hawk Wing’s Lockinge victory came at the expense of five horses who would win just two of their remaining 19 races in 2003 seemed not to enter in to the Committee’s calculations. Nor did his subsequent seventh-place finish in the Queen Anne Stakes, his only other start of the year.
The International Classifications are compiled by a panel of handicappers from Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. Ratings are determined solely by a horse’s best annual performance.
At 132, Dalakhani was rated a pound ahead of Irish Derby and King George winner Alamshar. This is a personal triumph for the Aga Khan, who bred and owned both horses.
Oasis Dream came next amongst 3-year-olds at 125. The John Gosden-trained son of Green Desert, winner of the July Cup and the Nunthorpe Stakes, is the highest rated sprinter in the world, three pounds ahead of Congaree, four ahead of Aldebaran, Choisir and Silent Witness, and five ahead of Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat.
Empire Maker and Funny Cide are the highest rated American 3-year-olds at 122, a mark they share with Epsom Derby winner Kris Kin and German Derby winner Dai Jin.
The Committee created another surprise by awarding L’Ancresse the world 3-year-old filly championship at 119 by dint of her second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Trained like Hawk Wing by Aidan O’Brien, L’Ancresse showed just one listed race win in seven other 2003 starts. The Nick Zito-trained Kentucky Oaks and Acorn Stakes winner Bird Town is the top American 3-year-old filly at 117, where she stands with Prix Jacques le Marois and Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Six Perfections, 1000 Guineas and Nassau Stakes winner Russian Rhythm, and French Oaks and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp winner Nebraska Tornado.
Amongst older horses, Arc runner-up Mubtaker trails Dalakhani by three pounds at 130. Three pounds further below at 127 are five-time Group 1 winner Falbrav, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf deadheaters High Chaparral and Johar. Also at 127 are Candy Ride and Mineshaft, who thus tie with Johar for the American older horse championship as well as being the world’s co-highweighted horses on dirt.
Azeri repeats as the world’s top older filly or mare at 123 with Islington and Sightseek three pounds behind at 120. Bollin Eric, Mr Dinos and Vinnie Roe share the stayers title at 119, while the French-trained Westerner, who slammed Mr Dinos in the Prix du Cadran and beat Vinnie Roe in the Prix Royal-Oak, is pegged at 117.
As the Committee’s two-year-old ratings include only horses trained in Europe, that division was renamed the European Classification. The undefeated Bago, a son of Nashawan trained in France by Jonathan Pease for the Niarchos Family, is the highweight at 121 as a result of his easy six-length score in the Criterium International. Attraction, also unbeaten, is the leading juvenile filly at 119 through her eight-length romp in the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes in July.<br> <br>January 12, 2004 at 15:47 #92762roryParticipant
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Nothing genuinely controversial there ~ Hawk Wing is a flawed champion, but let’s not pretend that his Lockinge win wasn’t an enormous performance. The classifications are not an absolute guide as toughness, soundness and attitude are not necessarily brought into the equation, but brilliance is, and while Hawk Wing wasn’t the soundest, bravest or most consistent performer of 2003, his brilliance on occasion should never be in doubt.January 12, 2004 at 16:16 #92764non vintageMember
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and obviously Mubtaker has always been far superior to Falbrav…
???January 12, 2004 at 16:18 #92766Nick HattonMember
- Total Posts 399
IMO they’re obviously either on drugs or taking a nice fat backhander from Coolmore.
Hawk Wing should never be 1st and Falbrav’s position looks an absolute insult.January 12, 2004 at 16:25 #92770stevedvgMember
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This is hilarious.
Hawk Wing is crazy enough but L’Ancresse???
SteveJanuary 12, 2004 at 16:34 #92772MonkeyParticipant
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What a double for Hawk Wing! The TRF Overrated Horse of the Year, and now the top spot in the International Classification.
Even in retirement the horse continues to intrigue, because both pros and antis can claim to be completely vindicated!
I think Rory has got it right, though. He did produce brilliance on his day, and that is what counts in the Classification. Whether it should be the sole criterion is another matter.
(Edited by Monkey at 4:35 pm on Jan. 12, 2004)January 12, 2004 at 16:48 #92773apracingParticipant
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<br>Presumably those that support the claims of Hawk Wing as horse of the year will also be voting for Fulham as the winners of the 2003/04 Premiership.
After all they did win 3-1 at Old Trafford and clearly we should overlook their other results and salute the brilliance they showed that day.
APJanuary 12, 2004 at 16:57 #92775
I’d like to know how High Chapparal figures as 6lb inferior to Hawkwing after beating HW in the Epsom Derby. Also HC won two Breeders Cup races, HW trailed down the field in the US. Falbrav won all around the world on many occasions against quality opposition. HW won ONE race against good opposition, no more than that. Is a horses rating decided upon for his potential greatness? I always thought that horses are rated on what they DO achieve, not on what they might have.
Sorry. To me the decision is madness.January 12, 2004 at 17:15 #92777marlingMember
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The position of L’ancresse is frankly staggering and unfortunately symptomatic of the way the panel seem to have approached the whole classification.
Her narrow second to Islington in the F+M turf was so far superior to anything else that she achieved all year you would have thought that the handicappers would have approached the task of assessing her run with a healthy degree of scepticism. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Instead, rather than arguing that Islington (at the end of a hard year and on a track that clearly didn’t suit) won despite not running to her best, the panel seem to have blithely accepted the form as read.
Surely handicapping involves a more sophisticated analysis of a race than this? Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â An unexceptional filly among a generation of largely rotten 3yo staying fillies is rated higher than two genuine stars in the most competitive 3yo filly mile division for years – the connections of Six Perfections and Russian Rythym must be astonished. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â <br>January 12, 2004 at 17:35 #92779
btw, I do know that the 133 was arrived at from the Lockinge win of 11lengths at Newbury.<br>I think that was one of the most over-rated performances of all time, considering that the horse never reproduced that single effort in it’s entire career. It was quite frankly a good win against inferior horses. And let’s remember, Where Or When’s finest hour in 2002 came at the expence of Tillerman, hardly a world beater. I don’t rate the line through Where Or When. If you discount Where Or When as a suitable comparison, what did HW beat in the Lockinge? Nothing of any calibre.January 12, 2004 at 19:51 #92783VenusianParticipant
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I suppose it depends on how you interpret that Lockinge performance – it was a fine one, but not necessarily superior to, or the equal of, a number of other horse’s efforts. But, at least you can see where they’re coming from, although I personally prefer to see horses "do it" on more than one occasion during a season to earn a particular season’s rating.
But Falbrav’s rating is a complete joke, as is that of L’Ancresse. They appear to have matched horses’ names and ratings by using an FA cup draw kit of marbles in bags.
Oasis Dream’s rating as top sprinter is fair enough, although the sprinting division should have been rated overall a few pounds higher. It supports what most sensible folk believe, that they ran the horse in the wrong race at the Breeders’ Cup – the sprint would have been run to suit him.January 12, 2004 at 20:35 #92790BubblesMember
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Spot on TDK – but one does wonder how these so called professional handicappers reached such conclusions?January 12, 2004 at 21:18 #92791cormack15Keymaster
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The objective of this particular ‘handicap’ is to attempt to provide an objective assessment of the world’s top horses and to compare the respective abilities of different generations, regardless of geography, gender and preferred distance.<br>A horrendous job, but one which is of value and, broadly speaking, they are usually not that far away, particularly when viewed at a distance of a few years.<br>An outstanding performance in a top level race, such as Hawk Wing’s Lockinge rout, normally guarantees a lofty rating, as is often the case with the Timeform ratings, so it was no surprise to see good old HW up there at the head of affairs, where he belongs.<br>I’d also be wary of talking down Mubtaker’s mark as his Arc run was a fantastic effort and thoroughly deserving of a 130 perch.<br>Falbrav, tough, game and genuine as he was, never displayed the sort of brilliance necessary to break that barrier and although 127 may be a shade low it is only a pound or two light.<br>L’Ancresse’s Breeders Cup effort was another example of the handicapper using one excellent performance to arrive at a rating but, again, if it can be argued that the race reflected the pure ability fo the horse, then the rating is justified, even is she failed to run to that, or near it, on each occasion she ran. It is not an ‘average’ rating, merely a reflection of the horses ability, as illustrated by their best performance.<br>My main problem with the ratings is that sprinters and stayers are almost always under-rated in comparison with milers and, more particularly, middle distance horses. This is probably due to the traditional bias towards middle distance runners and the emphasis placed on this category by racing professionals, mainly driven by commercial breeding interests.
(Edited by cormack15 at 9:20 pm on Jan. 12, 2004)January 12, 2004 at 21:30 #92792GrimesParticipant
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I don’t want to alarm them – well not unduly – but I agree with Rory’s brief post and essentially each of Venusian’s paragraphs.
The word "handicap" is clearly used in a different sense in these classifications, to its use in its normal context of Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â estimates of horses’ abilities in terms of class/speed/fitness at a particular point in time, Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â in relation to more or les imminent races.
Personally, I’m glad displays or even a single display of absolute brilliance is classified in this way, as there are so many other ways in which horses are rated, none of which – many of you will be happy to know – concentrate solely Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â on maybe just one or two truly outstanding performances.
Incidentally, everyone mentions the Newbuy race, but don’t forget HW’s breaking of the all-age track record at the Curragh as a 2-year old. That must have marked him out as special.
It’s ironical though, when you think that Class seems to be – according to an American’s definition, I believe I read, perhaps on this board – the tenacity with which a horse will pull out more and more, when it is tackled.
I had always been puzzled by the term, as I couldn’t see why it was not simply synonymous with speed. But it seems that HW is an example of an absolutely brilliant Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â horse at the highest level… and still perhaps relatively lacking class. Although it was said that he was injured, on at least one occasion when he disappointed racegoers and aficionados. Class, it seems, is at a premium with the studs, so *maybe* HW’s value as a sire might be prejudiced, though I wouldn’t bet on it, because, in football terms, I wouldn’t rate HW a Ross County or a Partick Thistle. No offence to those teams.
<br>(Edited by Grimes at 9:43 pm on Jan. 12, 2004)
<br>(Edited by Grimes at 9:45 pm on Jan. 12, 2004)<br>
(Edited by Grimes at 9:49 pm on Jan. 12, 2004)January 13, 2004 at 00:36 #92794
Del, no that isn’t rubbish form. <br>But we all know that Domedriver never ran an equivilent race at Newbury. Domedriver and Reel Buddy were beaten 20l by HW in the Lockinge. Rock Of Gibraltar cantered past Reel Buddy at Goodwood like he was standing still and won by 4l. Could have been double that if Kinane had let him go. I somehow doubt that HW would have beaten ROG by 12l at Goodwood had he run, assuming that ROG could have indeed won by 8l. According to the Lockinge, he would have. Let’s just assume he would have.<br>On that formline, HW should be rated in the 140s compared with the rating given to ROG (was it 129 ?). It just goes to prove that formlines are not worth a toss when you take them literally. HW was in fact only rated at 133 making the Lockinge form overvalued by seven lengths and putting Where Or When on 129 (the same as ROG). Falbrav beat Where Or When by 8l in the QEII at Ascot, which means that Falbrav should in fact be rated 4lbs superior to HW at 137. Or HW should be rated 4lbs inferior to Falbrav at 123. Either way, Falbrav should be rated higher than HW.
phwew! That took some doing, finding that lot LOL :biggrin:
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