Kauto Star: given a mark of 180 after his fifth King George VI Chase winPICTURE: David Cramphorn (racingpost.com/photos)
Kauto Star regains top jumps horse crown
KAUTO STAR regained his crown as the top-rated jumps horse when he was given a rating of 180 at the Anglo-Irish jumps classifications on Tuesday.
The Paul Nicholls-trained 12-year-old has been rated the leading jumper in four of the last six seasons.
He has also been named a champion seven times and remains the only horse be highest-rated at all three chasing distances.
Long Run topped the list last year with a mark of 182 but he failed to reach those heights this season. He finished the year on a mark of 178, which was 10lb clear of Gold Cup winner Synchronised and Grand National hero Neptune Collonges.
Phil Smith, head of handicapping for the BHA, said: "Kauto Star's return to the pinnacle of jump racing is a truly remarkable story.
"At this time last year we were speculating whether Long Run's assent to the top of the ratings was the mark of a shift in the balance of power from the old guard to the young pretenders.
"Kauto had other ideas though. His Betfair Chase and William Hill King George VI Chase victories will live long in the memory and stand out as highlights of yet another vintage year."
The invincible Big Buck's, also trained by Nicholls, was rated the best hurdler at any distance in Britain and Ireland for the fourth year running with amark of 174.
Stablemate Master Minded was named champion 2m4f chaser for the second successive year after he secured a mark of 174 in the Almin 1965 Chase at Ascot.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Sprinter Sacre became the highest-rated novice since the classifications were introduced 13 years ago when he was given a mark of 169, while stablemate Finian's Rainbow topped the rankings for top 2m chaser on a mark of 173.
Anglo-Irish jumps classification 2011-12
Champion 3m+ chaser Kauto Star 180
Champion 2m4f chaser Master Minded 174
Champion 2m4f+ hurdler Big Buck's 174
Champion 2m chaser Finian's Rainbow 173
Champion 2m hurdler Hurricane Fly/Rock On Ruby 170
Champion novice chaser Sprinter Sacre 169
Top 2m4f+ novice chaser Flemenstar 163
Champion novice hurdler Simonsig 160
Top 2m novice hurdler Grumeti 153
Get Wednesday's Racing Post for full reaction to the Anglo-Irish jumps classifications