Mr Consistent, an underrated sprinter and a superstar's equal
As ever the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings produced plenty of talking points. Here are four to consider ...
As good as Golden Horn?
If the ratings are to be believed there was nothing to split Golden Horn and Cracksman at the end of their three-year-old careers, with both horses earning a rating of 130. That may come as something of a surprise as Golden Horn proved the dominant European colt of 2015, winning four Group 1s, including the Investec Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Cracksman was more of a slow burner but his sensational performance in the Champion Stakes was equal to anything Golden Horn produced – according to the handicappers – and given his profile could there be more to come at four?
On Racing Post Ratings Battaash and Harry Angel were considered equals on 128. Timeform – which uses a slightly different scale – had Battaash as the joint-best horse in the world on 136 and Harry Angel on 132. Yet, on the World's Best Racehorse rankings it was Harry Angel who was awarded bragging rights among the sprinters, achieving a figure of 125 to Battaash's 123. Have the handicappers undersold Battaash's stunning four-length demolition job of Marsha in the Prix de l'Abbaye?
Better performance from the Brits
In 2016 the highest-rated horse trained in Britain was Postponed with a figure of 124 – the lowest mark awarded to the champion of Britain since 2009. However, despite the 2017 season having the feel of a relatively underwhelming one, it was a year in which leading British lights fared well. Cracksman (130), Enable (128), Ulysses (126), Harry Angel (125) and Ribchester (124) all equalled or exceeded the level Postponed had managed.
Remarkably, Gun Runner posted four performances in 2017 rated at 130. The Breeders' Cup Classic winner has not really captured the British public's imagination in the same way as Arrogate or American Pharoah, and he is probably not as talented as that pair. However, he is clearly remarkably consistent and it will take a huge performance to beat him in Saturday's Pegasus World Cup if he once again runs up to his level.