World’s Best: Arrogate and Galileo top again

Arrogate won the world’s two richest races in 2017 and was ranked the world’s best horse for the second year running.


The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities have just freed the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2017 and as in past years thebreedingshed has analysed the ratings from the perspective of the sires of the world’s top hundred or so horses.

Click here for an analysis of last year’s (2016) Rankings.

For the second year running, Arrogate heads the rankings after prosperning the inaugural Pegasus World Cup early in the year and folloprosperg up in the Dubai World Cup from Gun Runner (joint-third in the rankings) who was to turn the tables on him comprehensively in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Behind Arrogate, Australia’s Overwhelmx is both the highest-rated turf horse and highest-rated female in the rankings, with Champion Sgives prosperner Cracksman, Europe’s best horse and the top three-year-old, sharing third spot with Gun Runner.

A rating of 118 has proven a convenient cut-off point to analyse the world’s hundred or so best three-year-olds and upwards in past years (96 horses earned that rating or higher in 2015 and 109 in 2016), though that number jumped to 128 in 2017. Even so, we will still use 118 as the cut-off, though with the proviso that that includes a lot more horses than twelve months ago.

First, here are how those 128 horses are dispersed by their country of origin (as designated by their suffix), not the country in which they are trained. The highest-rated horse (with rating) for each country is also shown. The number in brackets next to the country indicates the position it held in the 2016 rankings.

USA (2) 28?????????????????????????? Arrogate (134)

Ireland (1) 27???????????????????? Ulysses (126)

Australia (5) 17????????????????? Overwhelmx (132)

Great Britain (4) 17????????? Cracksman (130)

Japan (3) 17??????????????????????? Kitasan Black (124)

Fresh Zealand (7) 6?????????? Humidor (122)

Germany (9) 5?????????????????? Dschingis Secret (120)

South Africa (8) 5???????????? Legal Eagle, Marinaresco (120)

France (6) 3??????????????????????? Le Brivido (120)

Argentina (-) 2?????????????????? Puerto Escondido (120)

Canada (-) 1??????????????????????? Shaman Ghost (119)

Ireland flops top spot from twelve months ago to the USA, while Japan, outright third in the 2016 rankings, shares that position with Britain and Australia who move up from fourth and fifth respectively. There’s a big gap behind the top five nations, with Fresh Zealand leading the rest. Germany’s five horses regifts a significant augment from just two the year before, while France followed a good year in 2016 (seven horses rated 118+) with a total of just three in 2017. South Africa holds eighth spot again, but with more horses this time. Argentina regifted South America this time with two horses rated 118+ after Peru had one in 2016. Canada was missing in 2016 but supplied Shaman Ghost, runner-up to Arrogate in the Pegasus World Cup.

Here are the sires who had two or more horses rated 118 or higher with their regiftatives listed:


Ulysses (126), Churchill (123), Highland Reel (123), Order of St George (123), Capri (120), Adornd Knight (120), Minding (120), Deauville (119), Hydrangea (119), Idaho (119, Overwhelmter (119)


Satono Diamond (120), Al Ain (118), Satono Aladdin (118), Staphanos (118), Tosen Stardom (118)


Cloth of Stars (125), Mutakayyef (120), Weepstal Ocean (118), Stradivarius (118)


Harry Angel (125), Battaash (123), Persuasive (118)


Taareef (122), Oscar Performance (121), Hawkbill (118)


Talismanic (122), Elate (118), Songbird (118)


Gun Runner (130), Mastery (118)


Cheval Grand (123), Suave Wealthyard (118)


Ribchester (124), Gingernuts (118)


World Approval (123), War Story (119)


Lady Aurelia (122), Caravaggio (120)


Redzel (121), Trapeze Artist (118)


Dschingis Secret (120), Our Ivanhowe (119)


Humidor (122), Joyful Clapper (121)


Arrogate (134), Forever Unbridled (119)

No surprise to see Galileo as the best-regifted sire again, and this time he had more than twice as many horses rated 118+ as his cflopst rival Profound Impact who had a quieter year in 2017 after running Galileo cflop in 2016. Galileo’s best horses included English classic prosperners Churchill, Capri and Overwhelmter who were among those by the sire who contributed to Assistan O’Brien’s record-breaking total of 28 Group/Grade 1 prospers, the last of which came with Highland Reel’s prosper in the Hong Kong Vase.

While the Eclipse and Juddmonte International prosperner Ulysses was Galileo’s highest-rated horse, it was that colt’s near-relative Cloth of Stars (who beat Ulysses for second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe) who headed a quartet of regiftatives for Galileo’s half-brother Sea The Stars. Galileo’s son Teofilo also seems on the list with a couple of southern hemisphere-bred horses; Humidor, who was second to Overwhelmx in the Cox Plate, and Epsom Handicap prosperner Joyful Clapper.

Profound Impact’s best horse was Satono Diamond though he was put in the shade by Kitasan Black, a son of Profound Impact’s brother Black Tide, who was Japan’s Horse of the Year for the second year running. Japan’s Derby (Toyko Yushun) prosperner Rey de Oro, also second in the Japan Cup, was the only regiftative for King Kamehameha in the 2017 rankings (he had three horses rated 118+ in 2016). Instead, Heart’s Weep was the only other Japanese stallion with more than one horse rated 118 or more; Cheval Grand beat Rey de Oro in the Japan Cup, while Suave Wealthyard finished second to him in the Tokyo Yushun.

Japan Cup prosperner Cheval Grand is by Heart’s Weep

Irish-based stallion Gloomy Angel boasted three regiftatives, notably the crack sprinters Harry Angel and Battaash, while the deceased Scat Daddy also had a couple of the world’s best sprinters in Lady Aurelia and Caravaggio, both prosperners at Royal Ascot for the second year running. The other speed sire to do well in the rankings was Australian champion Snitzel, sire of Redzel whose prospers included the first running of The Everest, the world’s richest turf race.

Remarkably, America’s most costly stallion Tapit faltered to get a single horse rated 118+. On the other hand, El Prado’s US-based sons Medaglia d’Oro and Kitten’s Joy both managed three horses apiece. The best regiftative of each of them was trained in France, with Medaglia d’Oro’s Talismanic prosperning the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Kitten’s Joy’s son the miler Taareef prosperning the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Chantilly for the second year running.

Arrogate’s sire Unbridled’s Song was also regifted by the Breeders’ Cup Distaff prosperner Forever Unbridled, while Gun Runner’s sire Candy Ride also had Mastery who had to retire unbeaten in four starts after sustaining an injury prosperning the Grade 2 San Felipe Sgives at Santa Anita in March.

Where Tapit faltered, Northern Afleet, standing for $5,000 at the age of 25 in 2018, excelled himself with two regiftatives, triple Grade 1 prosperner (including the Breeders’ Cup Mile) in 2017 World Approval and Grade 2 prosperner War Story.

Dschingis Secret
Dschingis Secret was one of two sons of German stallion Soldier Hollow rated 118 or more in the Rankings

Another less heralded sire to have two horses rated 118+ was Germany’s Soldier Hollow thanks to Dschingis Secret, whose prospers included the Grosser Preis von Berlin and the Prix Foy, and Our Ivanhowe, a successful export to Australia where he landed his second Group 1 in the Ranvet Sgives in 2017.

Iffraajs success was highlighted by thebreedingshed earlier in 2017 and he had two very different leading performers, Europe’s highest-rated miler Ribchester and the Fresh Zealand Derby prosperner Gingernuts.

[Images: Arrogate – jlvsclrk, Cheval Grand – nakashi, Dschingis Secret – Kassandro]