Irish Derby and Matron Stakes come out top in their categories
Two Irish Group 1 races have been rated as the best in the world in their categories in the 2017 Irish, European and World Thoroughbred Rankings released on Tuesday.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby has been rated the top race restricted to three-year-olds and the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes is ranked as the best fillies' and mares’ race.
In the Irish Derby, Capri, who went on to win the St Leger, gave Aidan O'Brien his 12th win in the Curragh Classic when getting the better of Cracksman – who subsequently won the Great Voltigeur Stakes, the Prix Niel and the Champion Stakes – and Epsom Derby winner Wings Of Eagles.
The Matron Stakes, run at Leopardstown on Longines Irish Champion Stakes weekend in September, was fought out by the Ballydoyle-trained fillies Hydrangea and Winter, with Hydrangea prevailing by a head over her stablemate, who had won four Grade 1 races during the season.
Hydrangea rounded off her campaign with another Group 1 victory in the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot. The form of the Matron Stakes was further strengthened when Persuasive, who finished third, won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
Jason Morris, Horse Racing Ireland's director of racing, said: “It's very pleasing that last year the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby was the highest-rating race restricted to three-year-olds run anywhere in the world and that the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Longines Irish Champions Weekend rated the highest of all the fillies' and mares’ races.
"To have two Irish races as the global leaders in their respective categories in 2017 underlines the incredible quality of the Irish Flat racing programme and the calibre of horses who racegoers can expect to see on our premier Flat racing days.”
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